Spiritual Dangers and Apologetics

by Stephen J Bedard

Lewis2I came across this surprising quote that may shock some readers:

“I envy you not having to think any more about Christian apologetics.  My correspondents force the subject on me again and again.  It is very wearing, and not very good for one’s faith.  A Christian doctrine never seems less real to me than when I have just (even if successfully) been defending it.” – C.S. Lewis

Yes, that C.S. Lewis.  The one we think of as living and breathing apologetics.  Apparently he had something negative to say about apologetics.

I do not want to try and guess as to what was happening to Lewis or how he was affected by his apologetics activity.  However, there is something that rings true here.  There are certainly enough examples of evangelical Christian apologists who not only give up on apologetics but gave up on the faith as well.  While many do not take it that far, I do hear from some apologists about how their passion for God is diminishing.

What should we do with this?  Should we give up on apologetics and just focus on singing praise songs with our Christian friends?  We need to see this not as a problem with apologetics but a part of human psychology.  A person who studies the dynamics of marriage relationships or studies parenting in an academic setting will have to work extra hard to be a good spouse and parent.  Sometimes when we focus on the theoretical dimension of any discipline, there arises obstacles to living that out in real life.  But that does not mean that we should either give up the academic study or the practical application.  It just means we have to work harder at keeping a balance…


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