Groothuis’ "Christian Apologetics" ch.2: The Biblical Basis for Apologetics

“False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel.  We may preach with all the fervour of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion.” –J. Gresham Machen, p 28

“The claim that no one is argued into Christianity is simply false.  Although reasoning with unbelievers can prove frustrating, this may be more the fault of poor arguments, poor presentations or poor character than of the fruitlessness of apologetics per se. … Moreover, noteworthy individuals such as John Warwich Montgomery and C.S. Lewis trace their conversions to key transformations in their thinking wrought through rational arguments.” pp. 29-30 (Groothuis’ Christian Apologetics)

Also, his mention on page 43 of retreating and restrategizing if the conversation is just counter-productive, then referring in a footnote to Jesus’ discussion of not casting pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6), helped me to better understand what Jesus was getting at.  That passage bugged me for a long time.  It is only taken as an insult by someone who thinks they know it all and is offended at the thought they may need to change their mind upon learning the truth.  One is swine if one rejects evidence and good reasoning (pearls) only on the basis that it does not line up with their worldview.  As long as they are more attached to their worldview than to an honest examination of those pearls, they will just trample them under their feet into the mud of their beloved worldview.  It’s true of all of us.  It’s the same message communicated in Jesus’ talk of new wineskins.

(discussion index)

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