Apologetics literally means to “speak in defense,” and there are plenty of authors with books about apologetics. It’s something I find fascinating because as I dissect anti-theist arguments, I find new understand of how God’s creation affirms His presence, something I’m sure those who oppose our faith don’t realize their words do. But is apologetics something on which we are told to spend a lot of time?
I have to admit, I probably spend more time than I should reading atheist writings so I can understand their complaints, and scripture to find the shortfalls of anti-theist criticisms. I could justify doing this with 1 Peter that tells us to always be ready to give answer for our faith. This brings me back to the question at the end of the first paragraph.
Our first calling as Christians is to spread God’s Word to as many people as possible. We do this so that by hearing God’s message they are, for those few precious moments, not distracted by the things of this world. I believe we don’t win people to Christ through argument springing from cognitive skill. If salvation was something we achieve through our own efforts, it would be the result of works and not faith. But Ephesians seems to tell us it’s the other way around; salvation is a gift. By sharing the Gospel, are we not simply removing the distractions of this world for those few precious moments; that is, removing the static between God’s people and salvation? It is His call after all, that leads to salvation, and not something we’ve done.
I think it’s important to note here that some Christians seem more eager to win internet debates than lead someone to God. How would winning a debate at such a cost honor God? Studying apologetics is being ready to give answer about our faith, but not that which results in saving faith.
When you give answers to non-believers, especially those in the anti-theist set, are you helping them understand or causing them to dig their heals into the dirt of non-belief?
Have you ever been to a church service where the congregation recited what we often call The Lord’s Prayer? I think it’s fine to memorize it as scripture. If the purpose of congregational recital is to learn the Word, there’s nothing wrong with reciting it in church. But I don’t think Jesus was telling us to repeat it verbatim as our prayer. To understand why, let’s look at what Matthew Chapter 6 says immediately before the words, “Our Father in Heaven.”
Matthew records Jesus saying, “This, then, is how you should pray.” Notice he said “how” you should pray, not “what” you should say. I believe this is the important part. Isn’t Jesus giving us an example, a model prayer, in the following verses?
It seems clear to me Jesus is telling us to talk to the Father; to do so humbly; to ask for forgiveness; and to ask that we are able to avoid temptation rather than to recite scripture during prayer. Consider, he just got through saying not to be like pagans who feel they will be heard because of many words.
A church building used for 128 years by worshipers in Port Colborne, Ontario is a total loss following a devastating fire Tuesday. The building of Grace United Brethren Church was built in 1897. The fire was reported around 3:30 a.m. and the structure lay in ashes by sunrise the same morning.
Brian Magnus, Bishop of the United Brethren Church in Canada, said in a Facebook Post, “The front half (sanctuary, lobby and basement) are down to the basement foundation walls. The back half is also burned, and smoke-and-water filled, and will need to be torn down to the concrete slab.”
The loss is believed to be more than $1.5 million. A website has been set up for those wishing to help the congregation rebuild.