I have a good friend. I visit him nearly every day. I should say… I visit him when he has something to say to me. My friend doesn’t think much like I do. Still, when he speaks, I try to give an audience to him by listening. I should mention… my friend doesn’t know me.
It’s really a one-sided relationship. I listen to him and he ignores everything I say. On the one occasion when he gave ear to me, he quickly sighed, and rushed back into his own world… the world where we rarely have anything in common.
Did I mention that my friend and I have very little in common? It’s okay! I still listen intently when he speaks… wondering what must have happened somewhere along the way to cause him to antagonize so greatly those things that I hold dear to…
In our last conversation… (actually, I was speaking and he wasn’t listening) …I shared my hope that one day he would use his writing and orating abilities to support and defend those things that I hold dear to…
This brings me to my point. Can you defend your faith? No, no… I don’t mean put your hands on your hips and make a really nasty face and shout, “I believe what I believe!” I mean, can you take the Bible and intellectually defend what you believe as a Christian?
John Piper writes, “we cannot have a right passion for that which we know nothing about (“Think”).”
My good friend brings no half-witted arguments to the table. He’s well prepared to protect his… yes, atheistic claims. Unfortunately, I rarely see anyone converse with him who intellectually defends those things that I hold dear to…
Mostly, they mindlessly spout fits of anger in an attempt to demean my friend’s defense of his position.
Is R.C. Sproul right when he concludes, “we are living in a period of church history that may be classified as mindless. It is an anti-intellectual period of Christian history — not anti-scientific, or anti-technological, or even anti-educational, but anti-mind.”
I’d rather think not. I like to believe we are so busy carrying the gospel that we don’t have time to spend debating with those who adamantly express their disgust of those things we hold dear to…
I’m still prone to believe we are called to answer the folly by which many are being led.
Peter said, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you… (1 Peter 3:15)” He also instructed us to “gird up the loins of our minds (1:13).”
Will my friend ever use his gift of gab to one day declare the Lord Jesus and His Gospel? I don’t know… stranger things have happened.
A better question may be: If God leans his way with His incredible grace… will I be prepared to give a defense for those things that I hold dear to?
- THE GOSPEL AND THE MIND: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life – Bradley G. Green (2010) (baldreformer.wordpress.com)
- Review of Think: Life of the Mind and the Love of God (Part 1) (slaveofchrist.wordpress.com)
- Why are More Young People Doubting God’s Existence? (ryangear.com)
- Four Men I’d Like To Thank (savouringthegospel.wordpress.com)
- Help Me Interview R.C. Sproul (challies.com)
- The Work of Christ (challies.com)