Thursday, March 30, 2006

Apologetics: More Than Words

Ravi Zacharias and Scot McKnight offer complementary insights on the apologist's theme verse, 1 Peter 3:15, warning against our tendency to divorce content from character.

Scot makes this important contextual observation: the kind of apologetics Peter had in mind goes hand in hand with suffering:
Second, I’m impressed by what it is that calls for a request: their hope. The context makes it clear why it is the “hope” that triggers a request for an apologia: suffering. The resident aliens and temporary residents of the Asia Minor Christian community were suffering at the hands of various sorts and they evidently were facing such suffering in an unexpected manner: with hope. That is, they were confident in God, that the last word would be life, and they faced their sufferings with a tranquility and hope that suprised their oppressors.
And Ravi writes:
...apologetics is often first seen before it is heard.

For that very reason the Scriptures give us a clear picture of the apologetic Christian: one who has first set apart Christ in his or her heart as Lord, and then responds with answers to the questioner with gentleness and respect. Therefore, one must not overlook the stark reality that the way one's life is lived out will determine the impact upon the skeptic. There are few obstacles to faith as serious as expounding the unlived life.
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1 comment:

Ragamuffin said...

amen, amen and amen!