We recently published another installment in our series of in-depth interviews with individuals who are making a difference to American higher education and culture. This one was with Dr. Holly Ordway, who teaches Christian apologetics at Houston Baptist University.
What is apologetics?
The word “apologetics” comes from the Greek word apologia—which does not mean the same thing as the English word “apology”!
Rather, it means a discourse in defense of someone or something. That is why the famous Platonic dialogue in which Socrates presents his defense to the Athenian jury is called the Apology in English.
Christian apologetics, then, is all about defending the Christian religion against the accusations of its detractors. And we all know that nowadays the number of those detractors is growing rapidly. (As a case in point, take Richard Dawkins’s recent advertising campaign on London city buses, right.) Which makes Christian apologetics today all the more necessary and important.
The interview is interesting in a number of different ways.
First, because Ordway herself has an intriguing life story. In the interview, she describes her unusual journey from being a garden-variety atheist running with the herd in contemporary American academia, to doubts about her secular, scientistic belief system, to full-fledged Christian faith.
The interview also highlights the remarkable Department of Apologetics that Ordway chairs, and the extraordinary university—Houston Baptist University—that houses that department, as well as a number of Ordway’s distinguished colleagues there in philosophy, theology, and apologetics.
Finally, the interview throws a spotlight on Ordway’s own personal approach to Christian apologetics through literature and the arts. She affirms that the existence of beauty is one of the most important proofs of the existence of a transcendent reality—as an example, take Terrence Malick’s sublime 2011 film, The Tree of Life (above)—and hence of the falsity of the mainstream materialist-reductionist faith that is fast becoming the officially established religion of this country.
We believe you will enjoy the interview. But more than that, we hope it will help some people to reconsider how they look upon these disturbing trends.