Saturday, January 05, 2008

On Baha'i Apologetics: Arising to Honor

Every Baha'i blogger, just by virtue of putting fingers to keyboard, identifying herself as a Baha'i, sharing aspects of her life, and demonstrating her love for the Cause, is a defender of the Faith, it seems to me. Here is the opening to Ian Kluge's "Apologetics: A Personal Vision." -gw

My vision of a credible and effective Baha'i apologetics bases itself on the following statements from Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha.

"If any man were to arise to defend, in his writings, the Cause of God against its assailants, such a man, however inconsiderable his share, shall be so honored in the world to come that the Concourse on high would envy his glory." (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings, CLIV p.330)

"Teach ye the Cause of God, O people of Bahá, for God hath prescribed unto every one the duty of proclaiming His Message, and regardeth it as the most meritorious of all deeds." (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings, CXXVI, p.278)

"Arise [,] to further My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men." (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings, LXXI, p.137)

"... in this age the peoples of the world need the arguments of reason. ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 7; see also Gleanings, CVI, p.213 about the "needs of the age ye live in")

"Every subject presented to a thoughtful audience must be supported by rational proofs and logical arguments." (Abdu'l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p.86 )

We must do so in light of "the rational faculty with which God hath endowed the essence of man." (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings,LXXXIII, p.164)

"This [the previous argument] is a spiritual proof, but one which we cannot at the beginning put forth for the benefit of the materialists. First we must speak of the logical proofs, afterward the spiritual proofs." (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p.197; italics added)

"If it [the previous explanation] were otherwise, the foundations of the Religion of God would rest upon an illogical proposition which the mind could never conceive, and how can the mind be forced to believe a thing which it cannot conceive?"
(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p.115)

Apologetics: A Personal Vision
Ian Kluge
Apologetics Panel, Association of Baha'i Studies, Seattle, Washington, September 2 2001

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