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Keeping Jesus at the center

April 30, 2013

Apologists are concerned with answering challenges to the faith and with constructing and presenting persuasive arguments on its behalf. We easily fall into the trap of thinking that the issues we address, as important as they are, are the most central and important things. We have to keep reminding ourselves that the answer to all the questions ultimately is Jesus. We must always work our way back around to talking about his role as the creator and sustainer of the universe, about his moral vision, about his thorough understanding of our nature and needs and his desire to meet us where we are and address those needs, and supremely about his love and mercy and the forgiveness he made possible. We must urge people to put their faith, not in the conclusions of our arguments, but in Jesus.

I say this because I know people who have been swayed intellectually by arguments but who apparently thought that they are the essence of Christianity. Life brought other things into the picture that our arguments from science and philosophy and history and art didn’t address, and those things turned them aside. I wonder if this issue was behind Paul’s reluctance to rest his message in “lofty speech and wisdom” with the people in Corinth (1 Cor. 2:1). He could have twisted their intellectual arms but not really have accomplished anything. He relied on “the word of the cross” which is “the power of God” (1:18; 2:5). Apologetics offers support; it isn’t the central message.

If anyone reading this is as I described above, one who was won over to some extent by evidences and arguments but since has turned away, I hope you’ll do this before completely giving up. As I heard my late sister say several times, What will you do about Jesus? He is the “founder and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). Think about him. Who was (is) he? What does he have to do with you?

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From → Jesus, The gospel

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