Within criticism of religion, counter-apologetics is a field of thought that criticizes religious apologetics. Every religious apologist criticizes the defense of other religions, though the term counter-apologetics is frequently applied to criticism of religion in general by freethinkers and atheists. Luke Muehlhauser, the former executive director of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, defines counter-apologetics as "a response to Christian apologetics...examining the claims and tactics of Christian apologists and then equipping [a thinker] with skeptical responses to them".[1]

Christian apologist and blogger J.W. Wartick wrote "counter-counter apologetics" in response to Matt Dillahunty's Iron Chariots counter-apologetics encyclopedia.[2][3]

On his blog, as part of his "why they don't believe" series ("why they reject Christianity and/or theism"), Christian apologist and theologian Randal Rauser invited an anonymous blogger who calls himself Counter Apologist to explain his counter-apologetics, and Rauser provided his own counter-arguments.[4]

The New Testament is well understood to contain apologetics,[5] but counter-apologetics also appears in Christian theology. Theologian John Milbank has written in a 2012 work that Christianity "makes room for" counter-apologetics by not being a Gnostic system of thought,[6] and notes the "authentic Christian fusion of apologetic and counter-apologetic" as it stands in opposition to the anti-materialist nihilism of Browning's Caliban.[7] Likewise, Biblical scholar and theologian Loveday Alexander has written that analysis of the Bible's books Luke and Acts by two other authors shows they contain counter-apologetic features perhaps to convey a pro-Roman perspective to the reader.[8]

See also


  1. Muehlhauser, Luke (March 26, 2010), "Counter-Apologetics: What is Counter-Apologetics?", Common Sense Atheism (blog)
  2. Adam Lee (November 4, 2007), Little-Known Bible Verses VII: Iron Chariots, Patheos
  3. Wartick, J.W. (July 27, 2009), "Counter-Counter-Apologetics 1: Redeeming Pascal's Wager", Always Have a Reason (blog)
  4. Rauser, Randal (May 28, 2013), "Why they don't believe: Counter Apologist", The Tentative Apologist (blog)
  5. Dulles 2005, p. 1.
  6. Milbank 2012, p. 19 "[T]he apophatic Christian apologia, out of its own internal structure, always makes room for the counter-apologetics for the quotidian ... since Christianity is not Gnosticism or Marcionism, its qualified world refusal will, even at the eschaton, allow the world a place..."
  7. Milbank 2012, p. 24.
  8. Alexander 1999, p. 24 "...Luke-Acts contains too many counter-apologetic features to impress a Roman reader ... and therefore proposes a reverse reading of the narrative as an apologia pro imperio: it embodies a pro-Roman perspective to a church harboring anti-Roman sentiment..."


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