What is Apologetics in Our Own Generation?

The modern world and the existentialist world:

  • France, Switzerland, Germany.
  • Sartre, Camus, Jaspers.
  • Sartre and Camus are important to discuss because they are better known.
  • Heidegger has had more influence on theology.
  • Jaspers would be important because he is easy to understand.

Rationality = mathematics = machines.

One finds it very hard to come on the basis of logic and rationality to answers. Rationality gives no answers.

Personality, meaning and significance.

Non-logic and rationality means non-logic and non-rationality.

  • You can't bring rationality in as a ringer once you have started.
  • You have a final experience. Like a streak of lightning gives you an experience of purpose or an experience of meaning. Because it is in the area of non-logic and non-rationality. You are a silent man.
  • You cannot communicate it to other people.
  • You cannot communicate it to yourself.

There is this problem. If everything in life, if every purpose, every motion of significance, every motion of purpose, every movement of love, every thought of morality higher than the thought of social contract hangs upon an experience, how desperate it is to hang onto that experience. But if you cannot talk about it in the evening you may say, 'This morning I had it,' But the next morning you must say, 'It was yesterday,' And the next day you say, 'It was two days ago.' And in a week you say, 'It was a week ago.' And I have met these men, and they are beaten in this situation.

Sartre: 'The leap into the absurd by an act of the will.' 

Aldous Huxley: LSD.

If it is absurd as a whole then it is has to be absurd in the parts.

Anglo Saxon philosophy - Logical Positivism.

- To accept the fact that this is data is a huge leap of faith.

The second step could be said to be in the arts.


  • What Whence Wither.
  • 'A philosophic poem.'
  • The old lady.

Cezanne tried to find another universal.

Picasso is a bringing together of Gaugin's concept of the primitive and Cezanne's geometric shapes. He tried to find the universal in abstraction.

Paul Schaeffer's Music: sound leads to disintegration.

James Osbourne: an idealist without an ideal?

Henry Miller: anti-law and homosexuality.

There is a chasm of despair.

This talk is taken from L'Abri Fellowship's extensive library of talks (www.labri.org) and is reproduced here by their kind permission.