Publication Date

Spring 5-2023


School of Divinity


Theology and Apologetics


Inside Out Apologetics, Cultural Narratives, Malaysia, Chinese Religion, Hinduism, Apologetics, Filial Piety, Religious Pluralism


Practical Theology | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


In the Western world, Christian apologists, missionaries, and thinkers who noticed the dangers of a cultural shift called postmodernism have developed many resources in recent years to engage it. This shift started from a time when it was impossible to not believe in God to one in which such faith is one among many possibilities. Meanwhile, extensive analyses of and apologetic engagement with the Eastern culture (Arabic, Confucian, and Southern Asian clusters) has been sidelined, with only limited resources to believers in those parts of the world. Unlike communities and cultures in the West, Eastern communities are shaped more by a sense of honor and shame than by individual reasoning, guilt, and innocence. Hence, a recent apologetic method, called the Inside Out method, developed by apologists Mark Allen and Josh Chatraw, is proposed to engage the prevailing cultural narratives found in the Eastern cultures, particularly in Peninsular Malaysia, a Southeast Asian country. This presentation will apply an Inside Out method within the Malaysian context to engage its cultural narratives of religious pluralism and filial piety. The paper shows how apologetic conversations can be framed with a non-Christian Malaysian. By identifying and challenging his or her take on pluralism and piety, the method invites him or her to consider how the Christian faith tells a better narrative, because the Gospel is the greatest narrative to be told.


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