Thursday, April 5, 2007

Why Apologetics?

In so many words, if not the exact word, I get called "arrogant" more and more often. I've given some real thought to this. I mean after all, if indeed I am an arrogant person, that is not a good thing to be. However, the more I thought about being called arrogant, I started thinking about "why" I am being called arrogant. And pretty much it comes down to this. I make "truth claims." I do it all the time. I say "This is right, true and good." And by so doing I imply, and often directly point out that "This is wrong, false and bad." And that makes me arrogant in the eyes of many people.

Frankly, I don't care. If I was making dogmatic statements about things that Scripture is silent upon, then that would indeed be arrogant. If I talked about how wonderful I am, and said that I was the greatest Christian thinker since C.S. Lewis or Cornelius Van Til, that would be arrogant. But I don't think I really do that. Oh don't get me wrong, I'm a horrid sinner! I make many mistakes on a daily basis, but I don't claim infallibility or perfect knowledge. If I did, I would be horribly arrogant as would anyone apart from God Himself who would say such a thing.

But again, I don't think that this is why I am being called arrogant. I'm being called arrogant for echoing Scripture. I am being called arrogant for saying that Jesus Christ is Lord and God and no enters Heaven apart from faith in Him. And I go further to say that it is not by works but by God's grace, through faith which are all gifts of God not of our own selves.

Why do I tell my L.D.S. friend Pat that he is wrong in his beliefs? Because if I am right and I understand Scripture correctly, Pat will go to Hell for all eternity unless he repents and turns his heart to Jesus Christ, the one that the Bible teaches and not the book of Mormon.

Why do I tell my friend Gregory that he is wrong and in danger of Hell if He does not reject the Roman Catholic gospel, because I love him, and I love pat, and I love all of you who read this now and want you to have eternal life!

Why do I do apologetics? That is why do I defend the historic Christian faith? One, I do it for the Glory of God. It is my desire to know Him and make Him known as He reveals Himself in the pages of Scripture. Truth matters to God! Jesus made emphatic truth statements all the time, and He wasn't much liked for it either often times. But as God reveals His truth in His word (the Bible) I want to bring Him glory by proclaiming and defending that truth. As if He needs me, no not at all. God is more than sufficient to take care of Himself, He does not need me!!! But I love HIM! I want to speak for Him because He is my world and I am zealous and jealous for His glory! He doesn't need my defense but when people attack Him and His truth I can't help but stand for Him because He is my God who saved me, who loves me, and whom I will spend eternity with! I cannot help but shout "Glory to the one true God!!!" And I am obedient to Scripture when I fight false teaching and ideas that oppose the truth of God. As it says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ." I love God and I defend Him because of it, not because He needs me.

Secondly, I do apologetics because I love you. When a person is blind and deaf and standing on a train track with a speeding train coming at them, what is the loving thing to do? Watch them get hit? Or do everything you can to push that person out of the way of that train? Anyone who believe that there is a way to heaven aside from God's grace through faith in the Jesus Christ presented in Scripture (Eternal God) is in danger. I do apologetics to attempt to show them the danger they are in, and then I show them the narrow road that is difficult, but leads to life.

Go ahead, call me arrogant. But I love God, and I love you. I know I'm far from perfect, but when it comes to the gospel, I know I have it right. So I will continue to shout "Glory to God" and proclaim Him as He proclaims Himself, and I will continue to try and push you out of the path of that eminent train. And if you are a Christian already and think I should just leave people alone, wake up. God saves people, but God uses us to proclaim. Romans 10:14-15 says, "14But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"

If you think you have the answer of how a man can have eternal life, you do not love me if you do not tell me.

May the Spirit of God convict you to know Him, and to make Him known.

In Him -Jacob

4 comments:

Barry Dean said...

Jacob,

Thanks for your comment to Erik's Note to self posting. It really doesn't get any clearer than Ephesians 2:8-9.

I really like your site here. I see much grace and passion in your writing.

Concerning your post above I just want to comment on something you said. I am attending a bible study in our church on Wednesday nights. The current topic is "Doctrines That Divide" and we were discussing church disipline as outlined by our Lord in Matthew 18:15 and following. We were taught last night that the entire goal for church discipline is the repentance and restoration of your brother. The American church has been fearing man instead of fearing God in this doctrine. So when they do not discipline using the excuse that they would rather love the brother or sinner they are actually not loving him by not using the disciplines decribed by Christ. So when you write here "If you think you have the answer of how a man can have eternal life, you do not love me if you do not tell me", it rang my bell so to speak. Love is not always easy as a matter of fact it is very difficult most times. But we are called to do it.

By the way I love apologetics and frequent James White and the Alpha Omega Ministries web site.

Rock on you arrogant brother. ;-)

Barrydean

risen_soul said...

Hey barry,

welcome to the site. I appreciate the encouraging words. I love Erik's blog, he really nails things on the head.

James White is an incredible apologist isn't he? I love that guy and support his ministry. What he does is exactly the kind of ministry I hope to have someday. This blog is merely my flegling attempt to take steps that direction.

God bless and hope to hear from you again!

Gregory said...

Aw, thanks for the honourable mention, Jacob.

I love you too. That's why I do apologetics as well :)

risen_soul said...

one of the few things we seem to be on the same page about huh Gregory?