Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Heart of the Question

What is the best way to defend the gospel? Arguments? Heated debates? Tearing down the other side in order to make yours make sense?  No, that sounds more like politics to me.   You cannot force anyone to be interested in hearing the gospel. Can you present the opportunity? Of course, but this is not a random thing to do with a random person, most times.  And when the opportunity arises, remember it is not you that is conveying apologetics or the gospel, but God through you.

So, when the conversations do arise the apologist must know her audience. Obvious precursor? A relationship.  If the person knows you they are more likely to hear you out.  If they do ask a question, answer with gentleness.  In addition, try to find the heart of the question.

For example, let's say my friend Rob comes to me and asks me, "Why do you believe there is a God?"  An appropriate response is not necessarily my answer first.  Rather, "Why do you ask?"  The answer to this question will lead you to be able to answer his with clarity.  Even if he says, "Just curious", often there is some searching behind that.

Thus, the namesake of this blog.  As I pursue apologetics and as I pray God gives me the opportunity to to be an apologist I will keep at the front of my mind, "What is the heart of the question they ask? Why do they ask it?"  It was in a Sunday lunch conversation with my father that I discovered this focus.  I pray that if God chooses to put you in a situation to be apologist, you will be able to do so with clarity and get to the heart of the matter at hand.

"Our privilege and responsibility is to express the timeless truths of the gospel using language and imagery adapted to our audience." 
-Alister McGrath, Mere Apologetics

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, the greatest apologetic is love (not my thought, I learned that from Ravi Zacharias). Showing someone you genuinely care over time builds a doorway. With time, love and life circumstances open the door. Here's to praying we are ready to enter when the person opens that door!