procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, February 18, 2008


chatting to someone in first year at college the other day. i mentioned case, the Centre for Apologetic Scholarship and Education.

and they said something like, "yeah, i don't really like apologetics."
so i says, "what?" (please bear in mind, this is someone who has just enrolled in 4 years at theological college)
and they says, "Christianity isn't just about arguing."

my eyes slowly returned to their sockets, as i realised how common a misunderstanding this must be.

of course the cornerstone apologetic bible verse is that of 1 Peter 3:15,
but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord, always being prepared to give an answer (απολογια, apology) to anyone who demands a reason for the hope in you.

on the bus today, reading this great little book, Shining Like Stars (IVP)
Lindsay Brown, present past General Secretary of IFES* writes, "The Christian faith goes against reason but is not against reason," yet "we must not pander to people's intellectual curiosity, but give them a full basis for believing," as "Christianity is never exclusively rational - it also has moral dimensions."

of course, my fave apologetics quote comes from Irenaeus,
to describe is to refute
that is, simply by explaining what it is the-one-demanding-a-reason-for-the-hope-that-is-in-you is saying, the inconsistencies with a Christological world-view. it is then, that, as Tim Keller puts it in this really tops article, you can put in truth of the gospel. however he puts this "dismantling defeater beliefs" in the middle of his "apologetic sandwich", or, in his words:
  1. The attractive gospel – Brief gospel connected to baseline narratives
  2. Why Christianity can be true- Dismantling doubts and defeaters
  3. The Biblical story of the gospel – A more thorough telling

so, my good college friend, this is apologetics: sharing, in an inherently attractive way (joyful as we Christians all are), the gospel in which you trust. i say to you therefore, apologise away!

* International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (website here)

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