Frustrations of a Lay Apologist, Part 2

by Daniel Ashworth

frustratedAbout a month ago, I wrote about my frustration with being a lay apologist and I stated my frustration often came from two camps, both fellow Christians and unbelievers. I mentioned in that post how it seemed I could not win sometimes because unbelievers told me I was not intellectual enough, while my fellow church members often said I made things too complicated. In my first post, I primarily dealt with fellow Christians and church members (link here). In this offering I shall deal with the unbelievers. When I talk about unbelievers I often mean those who are highly educated, are indeed intelligent, and who may even know the Bible better than the average Christian.

First of all, when someone charges you with not knowing what you are talking about, take a step back, assess and see if there is something you may have left out in your presentation. At first give the accuser the benefit of the doubt and ask them what they meant by that accusation (a la Greg Koukl’s Columbo tactic) to clarify what they don’t think you understand about a certain topic. Maybe there really is something you need to read up on more. When warranted, study the topic more and then come back and make a revised defense.

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However, there are times when the unbeliever makes the accusation because they don’t really know about the topic themselves, and they are simply putting up a smokescreen. This tends to happen in public forums when there are other onlookers, and the power of persuasion is at hand.

The unbeliever may think by simply making the charge, you’ll be discredited in the public at large and therefore think they have proven your Christian worldview untenable to others. Realize here persuasion is important, but is not the “be all, end all” in what we are doing. Our arguments are persuasive because they are true, not because someone else accepts them. Though others are possibly unconvinced by what we know is true, our knowledge is at least persuasive to ourselves in our Christian walk. So continue to press the unbeliever on his accusation, demonstrate to them that you do know what you are talking about, and try to draw out their misunderstanding of the topic. This can take time and a great deal of patience…

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The Poached Egg ApologeticsFrustrations of a Lay Apologist, Part 2  | Christian Apologetics Alliance

 

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