Abbreviated Christianity and Christian Case Making
by J Warner Wallace
At some point in my life about 18 years ago, I decided to surrender my presuppositions and follow the evidence where it led. It didn’t happen in a day, but over a period of months as I slowly investigated the claims of the gospel writers. I eventually came to call myself a “Christian”. But the process that brought me into the Christian family of believers, the methodical investigation of the evidence, soon became a part of my life as a believer. It wasn’t long before I found myself sharing what I learned with the people in my world. I retraced my own investigative steps for anyone who would sit still long enough to listen. I think I drove my atheist friends crazy with this behavior; they had known me as a vocal (and rather angry) skeptic for many years. I’m sure I also tested the patience of my wife; the Christian evidences were all I talked about for many years. It wasn’t enough that I was now a Christian after 35 years of unbelief. I was determined to defend what I believed and share the evidence with others. I was becoming a “Christian Case Maker”.
I used to think that Christian case making was an option that some believers chose to take, while others did not. I used to think of it as a skill set that some people had and some did not; you know, a spiritual gift from God. That all changed when I read these passages:
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
According to Paul, “some” of us are gifted by God to be apostles or prophets or evangelists or pastors or teachers. That means that the converse is also true: some of us are not gifted in these areas. In other words, you can be a “Christian”, without necessarily being a “Christian Teacher”. It simply may not be your gifting. But look what Peter says…
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