Lesson 1 on Apologetics

Lesson 1:

Before you reply to a critic (either a Christian with a different view or a non-Christian) remember the following:

The person who has an objection to your beliefs (your theology or to Christian faith itself) is a human being in God's image. God loves them and values them. They deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. They are not stupid. Their motives may be good (in part, at least). Their objection may have merit and it certainly deserves to be taken seriously. Even if sin is involved in the objection and in their inclination to hold it, let s/he who is without sin cast the first stone.

If only we Christians would remember this a bit more often we would not be so rude, arrogant and, on occasion, downright nasty in the way that we sometimes handle doctrinal disputes between ourselves and in dealings with the likes of Richard Dawkins. I speak as one who also is liable to throw away a harsh remark about someone with whom I disagree (at least, if they are not around to reply).

So speaking the truth does matter but, as Paul said, speaking the truth in love. Without love truth is a weapon to wound rather than a balm to heal.


Unknown said…
Great advice!
On a wider note, thanks for blogging. You keep me thinking.
In Christ,
Anonymous said…
Good reminder, and this comes with my own mea culpa as well.
Predestined said…
Great reminder to us all.
I'm still editing out such comments from the up-coming Omnipresence title.
Anonymous said…
Good advice.
I try (with limited success to keep these maxims in mind)
"Honey attracts more flies than vinegar"
"you can win the argument but lose the person"

On the internet, I find it helpful to imagine that I might meet my antagonist face-to-face and would not want to feel embarrassed by rudeness.

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