Take the example of an older friend of mine, an extremely
bright and intelligent Christian named Rick. Years back,
he argued for days with an equally bright skeptic on the logicality of
believing in God and Christ. For several years, they were
out of touch. Then one day, they ran into each other again,
and it turned out that the skeptic had accepted Christ
several years back. How had it happened? He was in a simple
Baptist church service one day, they had an altar call, and
he came forth to accept Christ as his Lord and Saviour. There
was no logic there whatsoever. Simply a calling by the Holy
I do not think you are in disagreement with me. Apologetics,
I believe, is useful and even powerful. But the life and
character of the child of God is the most potent and best
representation of God Himself.
You are right--we are NOT in disagreement. To me there is actually NO
SUCH THING as 'persuasion' (in our 20th century sense)--there is urging, proclamation, exhorting,
leading, explaining (Paul's kind of 'persuasion'--II Cor 5:11!)--but MAINLY demonstrating the love of Christ by HOW
WE TREAT a person...the apologetic task (IMO) is the SAME AS
kerygma/proclamation, but with an 'instructional twist' as in 2 Tim 2:25...
There are, of course, OTHER PURPOSES for apologetic study and exercise
in the life of the believer, but here I am only talking about its intent
The overall goal (in epistemic terms) is to MODEL/exude the character of
Christ "close enough" to the center of the other person's "heart" that
they 'catch it'--that it infects their central interpretive paradigm and
they then 'see the data' with this 'modified paradigm' and so 'see' the
semantic pattern of God's message of judgment/grace, in the
areas of providence, in the Word, in the
witness's life...(this is my 'process view' of epistemic conversion--for
what it is worth)...
That is MY view of what apologetics is about--it is more HOW the
material is discussed, treated; how the person is treated, cared for,
etc...it has SO little to do with logic, reason, 'content'--constrained,
of course, by the need to model the Christians commitment to honesty and
truth...no deception, no arrogance, no certainty-where-there-is-none, etc.
Anyway...there it is in a very, very brief nutshell, but you might check
the Thinktank in a couple of week...I am 12 pages into my 'philosophical'
analysis on this whole area of language, paradigms, and epistemic
thanks again for your interest, and your commitment to our Lord!
[ .... convert.html ........ ]