The year I became a Christian is also the year I began this journey in apologetics.  The year was 2008.  On April 15, 2008, I finished reading the Bible from cover to cover for the first time in three months.  The memories of those times are still vivid, especially in those times when, as I devour the holy book, I would just have to pause, take a deep breath, and reflect.  Never have I read a book with life lessons so wonderfully weaved into sixty six volumes written over fifteen centuries.  James, 1 Timothy, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job… these books are so amazingly penned.  So intimate, enlightening, and personal.

As soon as I’m done with the Bible, my next question was, “What’s next?” The most logical way to continue the journey at least at that time is to drop by a bookstore.  In the first six months of my conversion, I didn’t have a pastor to confide to, neither do I have a Christian brother whom I could trust.  In those months, I see Catholics and Christians as hypocrites.  I didn’t like pastors and neither do I like the priests.  I remembered writing some unkind words towards pastors and Christians alike, because in looking at them I see so much sin in my eyes despite their best efforts to keep them in check.  There was a sister in Christ who told me that I need a discipler.  I didn’t respond that time, but in my heart, I knew it all too well.  I didn’t like a discipler.  If there has to be a discipler, that has to be God… because at that time, I couldn’t find a Christian that I can look up to.

Anyway, I digressed too much.  In that bookstore, a book caught my eye.  The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.  I didn’t know who he was and I didn’t know what to expect.  Looking back, I’m happy that I didn’t stumble upon Dawkins, Harris, or Hitchens, whose books are on the racks looming over the better ones by fine Christian philosophers.  I grabbed the book and devoured the contents.  In the end, all I could say is that wow!  Not only is Christianity anchored spiritually, it is also anchored historically.  I picked up another book, then another, reading the writings of CS Lewis, Greg Koukl, William Lane Craig, Norman Geisler, Peter Kreeft and the like.  Then I realized something.

The Church Badly Needs Apologetics.

The Church needs to teach the believers WHY they believe WHAT they believe.  I used to be very arrogant with my knowledge.  I knew that Christianity stands on solid ground and my studies gave me further assurance.  I club people down with apologetics as a young Christian… and while I easily win arguments, those were not the days that I can be proud of.  The mark of a true disciple is love (John 13:34-35).  When a Christian fails to love, he fails to be a Christian.  People won’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.  Knowledge without love breeds arrogance.  Love without knowledge breeds delusion.  The absence of both breeds ignorance.  In the end, only the combination of both breeds authenticity.

In the days leading to this, I always thought apologetics is a dead end.  That most churches will never understand why apologetics is no longer an option, but a necessity.  You see, in evangelism, knowing the answers to questions is important.  Apologetics give people the intellectual permission to believe.  Apologetics pays a vital role both in evangelism and discipleship.  Once the intellectual barrier is breached, the only logical conclusion one could make is to receive the Lord.

Now, the churches seem to be more open to apologetics.  I certainly commend RZIM for making an exceptional impact to the churches in Asia and America.   I see a phenomenal growth in people interested in studying apologetics… and interestingly, when I interact with some of them, especially the new apologists, I’m seeing my self in them.  Arrogant, boastful, unkind.  I praise God for the spanking.  Without those, I would’ve remained high headed and unbecoming.  The Lord has taught me important lessons on humility and graciousness that I would’ve learned otherwise apart from a divine hand performing the disciplinary actions.

This year, I see the tides turning.

I’m quite happy that this movie was released:

Sure, I wouldn’t expect much depth in it, but its a good primer.  It’s an eye opener that (1) A good Christian does not need to hide under their fundamentalist shell and (2) a good Christian follows the evidence where it leads.  Let me get this straight.  I THINK Young Earth Creationists such as Ken Ham and Kent Hovind are doing a great disservice to the church.  Their attack against the dating techniques is an attack to straw men that it almost seems like a plumber is telling a software engineer that his logic stinks.  So much so that one of the best Christian Theologian and Philosopher, William Lane Craig claimed that YEC is an embarassment.  This debate and this shows that while YEC has a loud voice in the churches today, they crumble in the face of scrutiny.

Anyway, this post is just my personal ramblings about all sorts of stuff.  I’m quite happy though… that apologetics is now descending from the philosophers to the mainstream churchgoers.

As I predicted in the past, and I still hold on to it… Atheism will die.  In fact, atheism will die faster than world religions because Atheism banks on logic which saws off the branch where the atheists are sitting.  In other words, the main battlefield is not between Theism vs Atheism.  The big debates is between God and god.  An arena where, as long as logic and evidence remain unadulterated, Christianity stands a GOD higher than everything else.


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