Thoughts on apologetics

Probably the most quoted verse in regards to apologetics is 1 Peter 3:15: "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." This is a wonderful verse, but I am afraid that many people disregard an important phrase in this verse: "with gentleness." Many people are more concerned with "winning an argument" or appearing to be intelligent than they are with seeing people become followers of Jesus. Because of such inappropriate concerns, we are often unnecessarily offensive. Granted, the gospel of Jesus is offensive, but we shouldn't be contributing to the offense (by our misguided attitude and actions). On his blog, Dan Kimball addresses some issues similar to the ones I have just discussed. Here is a summary of his points:
I agree that apologetics in a post-Christian world is not useful when:
1. We use apologetics to display the clever answers that we have come up with to prove people wrong.
2. We use apologetics like bullets to shoot people down.
3. We use apologetics like we are lawyers on a television episode of Law and Order.

However, I agree that apologetics in a post-Christian world is useful when:
1. We use apologetics when people actually ask us for them.
2. We use apologetics and don't see saying "I don't know" as a weakness, but as a strength.
If you would like to read Dan's blog entry "Thank you Josh McDowell (sort of)" , it is available here.


Abigail Anna said...

My mum and I were talking about that the other night. The gospel is an offense, but we don't have to be. We ought not be. We must be clear and accurate and ready to respond, but for the sake for the gospel and never for the promotion of our pride.

Eric said...

I agree. I think that this principle can also apply to discussions that happen between believers. Often, we just want to win an argument or prove the other person wrong. Instead, we should try to promote truth (in love) for the sake of the Body. In addition, we must always keep in mind that our particular opinion may be wrong.

Emily said...

Hi Eric! I finally figured out how to comment, so hopefully I will start commenting.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eric said...

Hey Emily! I'm glad to hear from you, and I look forward to reading your comments soon.