Sarah Flashing challenged us to consider our approach to apologetics. But I’m just a little more pessimistic. Well, actually, I’m optimistically pessimistic. I think the current state of our society is worse than we imagine. But I think that the situation is the one we actually want — one where there is a challenge to be faced. So I wonder …
Are people asking questions? Certainly. But my observation is that inquiry today seems to be little more than individual curiosity. What is missing is the societal inquiry. Why isn’t the nation asking questions about right and wrong, about morality, ethics, and justice? The reason is that question has changed meanings. Modern critical thinking seems to be more about tearing down the old edifices rathern than reaching into them and repairing them. One example of that is here, as DB challenges the sexual morality/marriage relationship by drawing upon the anticipated and frequent charge of racism (at minimum its equivalence). The greater part of Western society today is not asking the church for answers. There is no inquiry. The move today is to question the very existence of the church and its morality, even if the charge may be dubious.
The evidential approach to apologetics tends to be defensive. When hard questions come to us, like evolution, the greater number of apologists jump on the “error” bandwagon and think they can deal with the challenge by pointing out the challengers’ errors. Yet the challenge remains and we continue on the defensive. Much like a “prevent” football defense, a defensive posture will only certify defeat. It is not possible to win on defense.
With the Christian world view always dropping in popularity, it is time that we make world view, theological, and evangelistic apologetics offensive. Going into the secular classroom, as Sarah has done, is imperative. She need not preach to the class. Her presence is enough. The pre-evangelism of working with the Spirit in preparing hearts is a valuable first step. Staying in our seminaries and colleges, exclusively, can prove dangerous. Speaking to our churches and imagining that a sermon’s radio broadcast might change the world, that’s naive. Acts 16:6 makes a useful guidepost — we step out until the Spirit says otherwise.
The hostility level is high.
I have been told, on the job by a Stonewall-supporting activist, who was also my team leader, that I did not deserve to have a job in the public square. Because of my faith, he said specifically, that I ought to be off in a seminary somewhere. The question was not an interrogative. He did not ask. His question goes to one’s right to participate in public life.
Likewise, Chris Rodda, and MRFF are going after a soldier who proclaimed a Christian faith. It seems that some are embarassed to have Christians speak out loud. They think being a Christian in public life is unconstitutional. There may be some applicable UCMJ rules in this instance, but that’s not the Constitution. Even so, the term ”Christian” is not prohibited speech for officers in uniform.
The evangel is always on the offensive. The evangelist, also, must always be on the offensive.