Convicting Conversations: Apologetics and Waging War Within the Hostile Mind
by Drew Griffin
“Their inclination to hide is as old as the garden, they retreat from God not in fear but in contempt, not behind bushes but beneath ignorance and indifference. Why then do we hide when we possess so great a catalogue of grace? May God grant us strength to resist denial and courage to say what Peter would not, ‘yes I am His disciple.’” — Ronald Nash
There are common phrases in the evangelical world, rallying cries of evangelism that find their root in Scripture. “We must reach the nations,” “we must preach to unreached people groups.” These phrases are supplemented by organizations that highlight our mission to “Go into all the world, making disciples of all the nations;” to “be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.” We spend millions of dollars, give thousands of sermons to millions of agreeable souls, all focused on the mission we’ve been given and the various ways to carry it out. But when the people leave the pews, the churches are quiet, and the dollars reach their destination, a stark reality begins to take hold. No amount of oratorical skill or financial resource will be able to do what it is pledged to do; no program can replace the delicate skill of an individual Christian speaking the truth in love into the darkened mind of the hostile sinner.
The New Testament is replete with instances of Christ and His apostles engaging one on one with individuals, confronting desires, rhetorical defenses and extraneous supernatural forces to address the individual’s true singular need. There were no capital campaigns, there were no “evangelism emphasis weeks,” or mass rallies — just daily personal interaction with Jesus, the living Word, the Word that exposes the needs of men.
Mind you, I am not criticizing modern efforts to address the logistical hurdles that exist in evangelism; rather, I wish to redeem the act of conversation as central to our walk and our witness. Too many Christians, would rather aspire to Peter at Jerusalem than settle for Philip with the Ethiopian eunuch. Many pastors would rather engage the intellectual elite like Paul at Mars Hill than mirror Jesus with Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the rich young ruler, or Zaccheus. What lies beyond the crowds of the unreached is the individual. Each one with their personal story, searching for solace in every location imaginable except the one place where they may truly find rest…
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