What Apologists Can’t Do and What We Won’t Do: Eight Quick Thoughts
Saints and Sceptics
1) We believe that Christians are obligated to reason with unbelievers when we preach the Gospel. Those with pastoral responsibility should provide answers which reassure those who have doubts. Apologetics is an essential part of evangelism and discipling; it is heart-rending to see it neglected in so many churches. However, while we can provide reasons for trusting Christ, we cannot rationally compel people into the Kingdom (any more than others can preach, witness or evangelise someone into the Kingdom!)
2) You cannot defend the Gospel if you do not know what it teaches! A sound knowledge of the Scriptures is usually sufficient to answer queries about strange or shocking passages in the Bible; and biblical wisdom is needed to know what to say to whom and when. So we cannot and will not separate theology, preaching and apologetics.
3) We must not forget that becoming a Christian involves personal repentance and an act of personal trust in Christ. It is not enough to hold the correct beliefs. We cannot and will not turn apologetics into an academic enterprise: it is much too important for that!
4) Entering the Kingdom of Heaven is a transforming relationship between God and the person. After all our witnessing, preaching and reasoning is done it is down to God and the person he is calling. In the end, we are totally dependent on God when reaching out to others; so we cannot and will not neglect the place of prayer in evangelism…
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