Today I'm thinking of a recent teaching I was doing on "homiletics": how to draw and prepare biblical messages. During the Q & A session, these students had lots of questions about answering people when they're sharing the Gospel.
But the great need they wanted to prepare for was “apologetics”: the reason for the hope we embrace as Christians, the defense of the Christian faith. I was so blessed by their eager questions!
And they were not only overjoyed to learn that we as Christians have answers, but also impressed with the quality of the answers . . . answers developed over the entire 2,000-year- history of the Christian faith!
It took me back to took me back to the early days when I first received the vision from the Lord to start the seminary. . . .
A pastor friend and I, sharing the Gospel with a pharmacist during our weekly Gospel outreach. The pharmacist began to make arguments for evolution. I began to answer them one by one. He finally ran out of material!
But just then, a former priest—who had turned into a philosophy teacher—walked in. He heard what we were talking about and wanted to give a happy solution to the debate. He suggested that the Bible was only a book of practical help for some people. “It works,” he said.
The philosopher then suggested that Moses had climbed a mountain and carved out the Ten Commandments; then he came down and told the people that God has given them to him. They were to obey them in order to become a nation. The people obeyed them—so . . . “it works”!
This theory would be acceptable, I replied, if we call Moses a liar. He objected that he had not said this. Uh, sorry . . . but this is exactly what you said.
Now the philosopher wanted to switch tactics. He wanted to talk about the existence of God. So I answered with a theistic argument. By the time I got to the fourth point of the argument, the philosopher simply stopped —and changed subjects.
He began to relate his sad experience as a priest. I shared the good news of authentic Christianity with him.
We parted with two new friends . . . a pharmacist and a philosopher.
We are called like Elijah—to whom God made His intentions clear: Although He can destroy with quakes, and wind, and fire, His plan today is to seek and to save. We are to carry out the ministry of reconciliation. We are to speak with the gentle whisper of His mercy and His grace.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to walk in him, rooted and built up in him, established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:6,7).