The Web is a big place, and, to understate the demographics, a lot of people who spend time online aren't Christians. In the chat rooms, message boards, and virtual communities of cyberspace, non-Christians gather in droves. With admirable evangelistic fervor, many individual Christians and Christian organizations have erected Web sites with the sole purpose of defending Christianity and introducing surfing seekers to Jesus.
A major part of the Web's Christian presence is devoted to apologetics, the defense of Christian belief against criticism and alternatives. A recent search of "Christian apologetics" on Google turned up over 2,000 Web sites. Some of these sites are of the homegrown variety (like Sean's Christian Apologetics Page), while others such as Christiananswers.net or the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM) have more of a professional feel.
So far, so good. But what message is being communicated to the spiritual seekers who visit these sites?
For the most part, seekers are encountering Christian apologetics sites that are based on a modernist worldview where reason is paramount, there is absolute truth to be found, and the laws of logic are subscribed to by all. For centuries, this approach has put Christians on solid ground with seekers. But times have changed, and now millions don't share those presuppositions. Many of those millions are logging on to the Web every day.
Visit a well-known Christian apologetics Web site such as Christiananswers.net, and you'll find lots of information on the creation/evolution debate, abortion, cults, and biblical archaeology. However, you'll look in vain for articles about relativism, the nature of truth, and issues of tolerance and intolerance.
This isn't an isolated ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more