“Christian apologetics (Greek: ἀπολογία, "verbal defence, speech in defence") is a branch of Christian theology that defends Christianity against objections.” Wikipedia
“You can win the battle and lose the war” Professor Randy Harris
“I want you to be nice until its time to not be nice.” Dalton from Roadhouse
All Christians are commanded to defend their faith (1 Peter 3:15). Yet, how we do so is as important as the content of our defense. If you allow a conversation to become a heated debate, you’ve probably already lost the person even if you win the argument.
I don’t know how many conversations about the Christian faith I have had with those who call themselves atheists or agnostics or whatnot. I spent eight years of my life traveling around the country and for some reason I was an atheist or Mormon magnet when I jumped on a plane.
I found that in these conversations the best approach was to ask questions at first and then state what I believe. Apologist and author Greg Koukl is helpful when it comes to discussing faith with those who reject it. He calls it “The Columbo Method.”
Greg’s approach involves gently challenging beliefs by asking questions such as, “What do you mean by that?” “How did you come to that belief?” Then, and only then, asking “Have you ever considered?”
I recently listened to an interview with comedian and filmmaker Jordan Peele. I am a fanboy of Jordan’s, so I was interested to hear what he had to say. He made the statement that anyone who says they know anything about religious matters is full of s@#$.
Now, if I had the chance to talk face-to-face with Mr. Peele, I would want to guide him to the place where he could see that his statement is actually one that claims ultimate knowledge. He claims that no one can know but that is a truth claim which claims ultimate knowledge.
How does he know that no one knows for certain? He sounds pretty certain of that uncertainty!
But, if I had the chance to talk to him, I wouldn’t directly challenge the statement, I would ask him to simply explain what he means and how he came to believe it. I would try to have a conversation, not a debate. To quote the philosopher/bouncer from one of the best/worst movies ever, “Roadhouse,” I would be nice.
God commanded all of His followers to study apologetics but He also commanded us to to be kind (Col. 3:12). So, I’ll be blogging about the content that we all need to know BUT the approach we take is just as important. Be nice, until it is time to not be nice and those times are few and far between.
Catch you tomorrow.