What hath Apologetics to do with Discipleship?
Christian Worldview Discipleship
Yes, the play on “what hath Jerusalem to do with Athens?” is fully intentional. Much the same intention of the original is communicated by this question. What relation has “Athens” (whatever that means, usually the mind/intellect) to do with “Jerusalem” (whatever that means, typically Scripture, Christianity, and “spirituality”). In much the same way apologetics tends to be divorced from the life of discipleship to Jesus.
“What hath apologetics to do with discipleship?”
My answer: everything.
This makes sense if we understand that Christianity is a worldview. I appreciated this point of personal testimony in Jeff Durbin’s session (what he says between 4:21-6:49) from the 2015 Bahnsen Conference. When he began to read Greg Bahnsen (Always Ready), it was more than just having a philosophically consistent apologetic. It was learning to see all of life as under the Lordship of Christ. “All thinking was to be submitted to Jesus Christ as Lord.” It was more than apologetics, it was a change of life as a Christian.
I can attest to that as well. The same happened to me. I certainly was sanctified when I encountered Bahnsen’s work. When I first read Greg Bahnsen (Pushing the Antithesis), I must say I wasn’t as deeply changed by apologetics narrowly defined, but by suddenly being able to look around me and actually discern presuppositions and worldviews, and see the antithesis between Christianity and unbelief, and self-consciously ground all of life in the Christian worldview. My life was changed. I too, learned to think as a Christian. I learned more than a mere apologetic method.
You know what that was? A huge leap in our personal discipleship. It was a great moment in our lives as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Everything we do will have an apologetic edge to it, because we live from a Christian standpoint, whereas non-Christians do everything from the standpoint of unbelief. All creation is covenantally qualified. All is in relation to God, and with reference to him (whether acknowledged or not). Christ is the reference point, in him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge and by him all things hold together (Colossians 2:3, 1:17). The question is not “do you have a personal relationship with God?” All people, by virtue of being created by God, in his image, are in relationship (covenant) with him. The question is, “what kind of personal relationship with God do you have?” A right relationship, or one of enmity? Are you in Adam, or are you in Christ? That’s covenantal language.
With this understanding, we see that everything we do is covenantal, characterized by our covenantal relationship with God. Therefore, all activity is religious activity. Both believers and unbelievers are inherently religious, they were made covenantal creatures by God. So everything we do, regardless of our worldview, we do religiously. Because of this there is no sacred-secular dualism.
What is discipleship? Jesus commanded that disciples be made of the nations…
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