The Best Apologetic
by S. Michael Cravens
This guest post is by S. Michael Cravens, the Founder and President of Battle For Truth. Michael is a respected Christian cultural apologist, theologian, author, columnist, and speaker who works to challenge the spiritual apathy and cultural indifference of the Church through serious research, writing, speaking, and teaching. He is the author of The Christian Mind: The Key to Cultural Relevance & Renewaland more recently, Uncompromised Faith: Overcoming Our Culturalized Christianity. Michael also authored the popular Cultural Apologetic Series, which have sold more than 100,000 copies, addressing key cultural issues. Michael’s weekly commentaries are syndicated on Crosswalk.com, Christianity.com, and The Christian Post. He has also been a featured speaker on university campuses including the University of California – Berkeley, national conferences and seminaries, appeared on Fox News, CNN, ABC, NBC, and many other national television and radio programs.
There are days when the troubles of this world can no doubt be overwhelming. Almost everyday it seems we are confronted with more glaring evidence of our cultural descent: an increasing lack of civility, the celebration of licentiousness and immorality, the expanding indifference toward the weak and infirmed (or outright cruelty), and the growing disdain for religion and prudence. Admittedly these conditions can cause one to become angry toward those who willingly contribute to this current of contemporary thought and action.
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In addition, there are the ever-strengthening influences from every manner of philosophy and ideology opposing the Christian life and worldview, while the church seems to be less and less capable of defending itself against these encroaching enemies. I grieve as I read or hear about the endless personal suffering both here and around the world. Almost daily I meet someone who is personally struggling with serious trials or suffering from severe loss and devastating heartbreak. In general the world is groaning. This makes me stop and reflect upon what I am doing. Does my work matter? Of course, when I ask this question, I do so from a purely selfish standpoint; this is when I have to pause and reflect upon precisely what it is that I am doing and for whom.
One of the unfortunate tendencies associated with speaking apologetically is that you can begin think that the kingdom of God will advance on the weight of intellectual arguments. While scripture clearly teaches that we are to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within us (see 1 Peter 3:15), I must continually be reminded of Christ’s commandment to love my neighbor. If this genuine love of neighbor is not at the heart of my apologetic efforts, then I am nothing more than a “clanging cymbal”—an animated noisemaker…
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