An apologetic person

February 22, 2013

Post by Edwina Hine

Ahh.. the joys of facebook.... most of the time,  the links friends and accquaintances send me are encouraging or  amusing. Occasionally I do read posts that stop me in my tracks. A recent post on Facebook (a repost of an image from an atheist website) did particularly rankle. The image and caption can be viewed here. The post grated on me for several reasons, but it was my own lack of ability to come up with a suitable comment / response to the post that rankled or more precisely really angered  me the most!! Surely I should be able to construct a thoughtful response to a post that evoked such strong disagreement within me.
It seemed clear that I should be able to lovingly yet firmly respond to the post but I will admit finding the right words is still posing a challenge. In my mulling over the issue I have re-read Case #20 "To Give a Reason".

Reading this past edition of Case reminded me of the value in being an apologetic person, rather than just a Christian who can muster up a good and appropriate response in the face of criticism or ridicule. Lang Craig's article entitled "Christian Apologetics – Who Needs It?" especially highlighted how apologetic people not only alone, but in community, can help to create a receptiveness towards Christianity, and a preparedness to listen not just to ridicule. Craig sees an agenda that moves beyond individual encounters, responses and half-baked apologetic responses:

"It is the broader task of Christian apologetics to help create and sustain a cultural milieu in which the Gospel can be heard as an intellectually viable option for thinking men and women."

The articles  within Case #20 authored by David Höhne, Andrew Bain, Richard Gibson, Mike Thompson, Michael Jensen, and William Lane Craig all in their own way point us towards Peter's commission 'to give the reason for the hope that you have'. (1 Peter 3:15)

As Trevor Cairney wrote in a previous post that commented on David Höhne's contribution to Case #20 (here):

"...we are to demonstrate ‘a beautiful way of life’ that commends God to others. Our defence should not be just rational argument; we must use our ‘head, heart and hands’ and live as apologetic people in apologetic communities—with ‘our whole lives as both a defence and commendation of the grace of God in Christ’. The church is not separate from culture, and yet it should stand out against it."

The post I read on Facebook challenged me to think seriously about my faith and how we need to be prepared to give an answer to detractors and live different apologetic lives always remembering that "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" 1 Corinthians 1:18
Case Subscribers may enjoy retrieving their copies of "To give a reason" (Case #20) published 2009 and view the articles to which I refer to in this post. The William Lang Article can be viewed here. For blog followers who are yet to become CASE Associates you can subscribe HERE or order a single copy of edition #20 HERE. 

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