We are all more or less familiar with defending the faith.  We have read books on the subject, practiced the techniques we've heard, discussed it, etc.  At times we may be "defending the faith" on several fronts at a time; other times we seem to be waiting for the next attack. 

Quite regularly I get weary; I don't see that my attempts are doing any good.  There seems to be an endless supply of atheists, agnostics, Muslims, new agers, false ideas in otherwise Christians, and so on.  An apologist's work is never done.

Then the Spirit of God pipes up and says, "Hearken ye...thus saith the Lord unto you, be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's" (2 Chronicles 20:15).  The pressure is off!  I can rest.  There is a great multitude, but that is God's battle, not mine.  Sometimes He even wants me to stay out of His way: "Ye shall not need to fight in this battle;...stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you...." (20:17)

While I am arguing for an all powerful creator, I'm sometimes forgetting that He can take care of Himself.  He that made the world can control it; He that saves my soul can save Himself if He likes.  If He lets the wicked abound, He does not ask me to step in and do His job for Him.  He does provide me with plenty of opportunities which He certainly wants me to take, but His main goal for me is fellowship with Him. 

This is really the best defense of the faith, a group of followers dedicated to God, worshipping Him in Spirit and in truth.  Better than all creationist material ever written are living epistles, known and read of all men.  In this case, the best defense is no offensiveness.

This is not the case with the world; they have no omnipotent God to take care of them.  It is their job to fight for what they believe, yet their belief cannot provide them the rest that God would.  They are the servants of their beliefs, and these beliefs are hard masters (Romans 6:16). 

Praise God that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30)!

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Comment by Charles Martin Jr on March 1, 2011 at 7:19am

Tommy,

 

You stated "the end result of apologetics should be a presentation of the gospel."  That is exactly what we need to keep in mind.  It is extremely easy to be more interested in "one-upping" those with whom we disagree, and that's simply not the case.  The Truth, if spoken correctly, will naturally one-up a lie; we shouldn't feel the need to work harder to make it clever.

You also mentioned that "to proclaim the name of Christ may not gain a new convert, but always produces fruit."  Once more, that is spot on.  The person with whom you are conversing may not - may never - embrace the Gospel, but what about those who were overhearing?  We may simply never know what is going on after we've left the building. 

Thanks for your comments, Tommy!

Comment by Tommy Lohman on February 24, 2011 at 11:42am

David,
Thank you for this good word. We can all get discouraged when we feel that victory is not being achieved. I, like you, have defended the faith and felt as though no ground is being gained. Unfortunately, some of the battles we fight also come from within the body of Christ. There have been times at creation presentations where an attack comes from other Christians who are confused or being rebellious.
After a recent conversation with my pastor, he reminded me of a few things. First, the end result of apologetics should be a presentation of the gospel. This is something I forget very easily when I am seeking new information or tactics. In the age of information, we can get caught in our own information war. As I reminded a gentleman last night, we cannot just throw our information at their information (even if what we have is sound and right) and expect to gain ground. We must seek to move to the heart of the matter and that will always be spiritual.
Second, to proclaim the name of Christ may not gain a new convert, but always produces fruit. We are baptized and sanctified by His name and as Philippians 2 points out, "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." The heartbeat of our apologetic is that Jesus Christ is Lord of all.
Your admonition is so right, it is God who does battle for us (really for His own name). The battle is the Lord’s and He is the Victor.
Grace Be With You,
Tommy

Comment by Charles Martin Jr on February 22, 2011 at 6:17am
Well spoken, David!

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