Part of the church, particularly the charismatic or Pentecostal streams, sees signs and wonders as key to apologetics. Signs contradict naturalism, and raise up hopes and dreams of greater things. What do you think of that?
I believe passionately in it. As Peter Berger says, we live in a world without windows. We need to go back to the New Testament. Our Lord is the Father’s greatest gift, and the Holy Spirit is Jesus’s greatest gift to us. You can see apologetics accompanying deliverance and healings right down to the fifth century. Augustine started a little skeptical, and then became a passionate believer through experience. He records more than 70 miracles in Hippo.
And then sadly, in the centuries that followed, signs were specialized to certain people (the saints) and certain places (the healing centers). Then it was surrounded with superstition and moneymaking. The Reformation came along and, in throwing out all the corruptions, tended to throw out the baby with the bathwater. It stressed the Word and not the Spirit. Then came the Enlightenment. Many of the more sophisticated people in the church today frankly are operational atheists, and don’t have a living sense of the Holy Spirit. Reviving that sense is absolutely a key part of apologetics.