Habermas is a leading Christian apologist and Flew a poster-boy for philosophical atheism. By the defense given by Habermas, Flew now considers himself a theist. While far from Christianity, this represents a significant step forward in dialogue.
The methodology used by Habermas is consistent with the apologetic principles. Habermas believes that the strongest case can be made for Christianity by dealing directly with Christ’s death and resurrection. Too many apologists begin with “you just have to have faith,” consequently ignoring the historical data, the testimony of the eyewitnesses, and the claims Jesus made of himself.
In a discussion with a fine Baptist (tradução: missionária baptista) leaving on a missionary trip to Peru at the airport in Atlanta,USA,a true plus fine lutheran had to repeatedly reiterate this point. She wanted to return to “just believe” and even worse, “look at how good my life is and yours could be.” Its utterly frustrating for the tough-minded intellectual to abandon his reason and sense (thanks Luther!) and trust in subjectivity. While she only comes to the Gospel by faith, the Gospels themselves are compelling documents historically. Unlike every other world religion which is guided by subjective experience without historical foundation, the Gospels and especially the death and resurrection offer testimony that is both substantial legally and according the standards of ancient document authenticity. Don’t be deceived, Christians have the intellectual high-ground.