Apologetics and humility
June 11, 2014
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[Here are a couple of short excerpts from Relational Apologetics, Defending the Christian Faith with Holiness, Respect and Truth, Copyright © 2012 by Michael C Sherrard. This is the first book I have ever bought from Amazon, I have it on the Kindle app on my smart phone. Michael also blogs on the same subject, you can find his blog here.]
The lies of postmodernity have built up walls in the lives of many people that serve to keep the gospel out. Lies like truth does not exist, all religions are the same, the Bible is a forged book, and the resurrection was a fake, become a barricade to the light of the gospel. We must become equipped to destroy these obstacles because we love others and want them to believe in Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:2). To be a faithful steward of the gospel today, we must become able to defend our hope in Jesus. We all must be apologists.
You don’t know everything. Nobody knows everything. Even your condescending, sceptical coworker or classmate who has made you feel like an intellectually inferior person for believing in Christianity. So fear not. A lack of knowledge puts you in the same boat as everyone else. We all have our limitations. It is good and comforting to know this.
Realizing that you are not enslaved to the responsibility of knowing every answer to every question a skeptic might ask you can be a huge relief. It quite simply is a burden the Christian need not carry. You must comprehend this freedom to be able to defend your faith. Many of us never even attempt to defend our faith because of a fear of not having an answer. Hear me; it is just fine to not have an answer. There is absolutely no shame in saying, “I don’t know. You raise an interesting question.” understand that man’s eternity is not held in the hand of your knowledge.
Not only is it a relief to understand that “I don’t know” is an option, others will appreciate your honesty in admitting your lack of knowledge. People like humble people, and in a day of glory-seeking pontificators, your honesty and humility will be greatly appreciated. It will show the other person that you aren’t arrogant and out to win at all costs. It will show them that you value and respect them enough to concede a good point and allow them to look smart. Because, let’s be honest, the reason you get angry in arguments is partly because you feel the other person doesn’t respect you and is making you look dumb for believing in what you do. So when you can say, “I don’t know, good point.” it will show the other person that although you disagree with him, you don’t think he is an idiot. This humility will go a long way toward developing a healthy conversation and a lasting relationship. These are much more likely to produce fruit than back-and-forth fact-spouting.