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Elgin Hushbeck on Apologetics

Elgin Hushbeck on Apologetics

One of the blessings in my life is the number of friends I have found (and I don’t always make friends easily) who are willing to have great discussions. By “great” I mean ones in which we challenge one another’s ideas with vigor but without anger or condemnation. If you seek only friends and associates who agree with you, you’re missing out on a great blessing.

Elgin Hushbeck is such a friend. I think I tend to emphasize the places where we don’t agree over those were we do simply because I find those discussions more useful and enjoyable. Elgin is a Christian apologist, which did not help me to warm up to him or his writing (this was before I was a publisher). Apologists often get a bad reputation for a number of reasons, including obsession that makes them narrow, a vigor in presentation that belies weakness of content, discourtesy, and some carelessness with factual accuracy in a good cause. And this is not to mention mistaking a catalog of facts for the good news of the gospel from time to time.

Elgin doesn’t do this. I want to call attention to his post yesterday on the Energion Discussion Network.  If we could get the “gently and respectfully” part taken care of, the rest would work much better.

I have found that the style is not a characteristic of one or another theological or political position. Whatever it is you’re advocating, gently and respectfully is going to accomplish more in terms of communicating your message, assuming that’s your goal. If you just want to stick it to the people who disagree with you, your strategy will obviously differ.

But with regard to the gospel, if your goal is to stick it to an opponent, don’t imagine that you are actually proclaiming the good news. The good news isn’t that you’re right and the other guy is wrong. Rather, it has something to do with God loving both of you, no matter how wrong you are. It depends on God and the Holy Spirit to fix that wrongness.

(Featured image credit: Openclipart.org.)

Quote of the Day – William Barclay

Quote of the Day – William Barclay

The greatest converting influence of all is a life which clearly and obviously is possessed of a power which can cope with the human situation in all its problems, in all its tragedy, and in all its pain. — William Barclay, Turning to God, p.41

 

On Being a True Believer

On Being a True Believer

I’ve been thinking of writing this ever since I read Joe Carter’s post Plagued by Certainty, but I haven’t really had the time. You see, while there are certainly many things regarding which I disagree with Joe Carter, I find a certain resonance with his claim of certainty in matters of faith.

This certainty does not extend to the full list, nor has it remained unquestioned throughout my life. Rather, I would call myself a true believer not because I have always been convinced, nor because I have a growing belief, but rather because I have made the maximum effort to disbelieve, and come up a failure.

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