This was previously posted at my personal blog here.
I have spoken to many Christians who think Christian apologetics is a
waste of time. I've also spoken to many Christians who think that the
gospel must always be accompanied by signs and wonders. If I'm honest
both apologetics and signs and wonders are in short supply in the
Christian church which is a shame because both have biblical support and
For instance if you're speaking to someone and they ask you whether there
is any evidence that Jesus rose from the dead or whether you can know
that God exists then it makes sense to provide a reasonable response
since there exists persuasive responses, that is apologetics.
Equally if the person you are talking to has some physical impairment
and you feel led to pray for their healing then it makes sense to do so,
it would make no sense to offer an apologia for signs and wonders it
requires demonstration God willing (if you're a cessationist then just
skip this bit).
Many Christian's objection to apologetics is that if they only saw a
miracle they would believe as if words are cheap, however doesn't faith
come by hearing (Romans 10:17), and didn't Paul seek to persuade people
of the truth of the gospel throughout the book of Acts (Acts 17, 18:4,
19:8, 26:22, 28:23 etc)? Needless to say it is just as possible that
witnessing a miracle will be interpreted as something else (depending on
world-view) or its full implications may be wilfully ignored. One only
has to look to the ten lepers Jesus healed (Luke 17:11-19) and see that
only one came back to give praise to God, the nine were healed yet they
showed ingratitude to God by not acknowledging his healing. Didn't many
people in Jerusalem see Jesus crucified, know of his empty tomb and see
him alive and resurrected and still doubt?
When Paul speaks to King Agrippa he offers a persuasive case for the
gospel including his own testimony and yet King Agrippa mocks Paul by
suggesting that he thinks he could so easily persuade him (Acts 26). He
hears a persuasive case for the gospel from the Apostle Paul and yet he
still rejects it.
What this all means that it is perfectly possible that someone will
reject the gospel when they are presented with a persuasive case for it
and that someone could also reject the gospel even when they have seen
seen something miraculous. This being the case doesn't mean that we
should stop praying for the sick or that we stop preparing and equipping
ourselves with a good apologetic case for the gospel, it just means God
is sovereign and he can and does use a variety of ways to bring us to
know his love and forgiveness.
Keep preaching and keep praying.
'Didn't many people in Jerusalem see Jesus crucified, know of his empty tomb and see him alive and resurrected and still doubt?'ReplyDelete
No (unless you are talking about the disciples in Matthew 28:17, which is clearly written to spin why everybody knew that these alleged disciples of Jesus just didn't seem to have done any evangelising)
'When Paul speaks to King Agrippa he offers a persuasive case for the gospel including his own testimony and yet King Agrippa mocks Paul by suggesting that he thinks he could so easily persuade him (Acts 26). He hears a persuasive case for the gospel from the Apostle Paul and yet he still rejects it.'ReplyDelete
Have you read Acts 26?
All Paul does is claim he had a vision of Jesus.
No empty tomb, no mention of any miracle Jesus did.
The only proof Paul offers is that the Old Testament prophesied that the Messiah would suffer and die.
No witnesses , no evidence, just a claim that it must have happened, because it was prophesied.
How can that be convincing?
Are you claiming that if somebody has a vision and claims something is prophesied in the Bible, then people should be persuaded?
Steven, I'll reply at my personal blog. There is no need for us to have exactly the same conversation at both blogs.Delete
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anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post. Please do keep up the great work.ReplyDelete
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