On February 25, 2015, in Personal, by july

About five months ago, I wrote a blog saying that I am slowly shedding off the rust from my apologetics days. I have to correct one sentence I wrote on that blog though.  I said, in apologetics we don’t deal with emotions.  I have to rephrase that to say, “In apologetics, we relegate emotions in favor of reason.” In other words, while emotions are important for an apologist to detect how to navigate a conversation, ultimately the role of apologetics is to take off the intellectual smokescreens that keeps one from hearing the Gospel clearly.

I used to feel very uncomfortable listening to Zakir Naik and Ahmed Deedat because of their manners.  That was the time when I have to shut down, almost completely, my affinity to apologetics in favor of intentional discipleship. That was a very very difficult road to take for me.  You see, I get energized when I wrestle with ideas, especially so with fellow intelligent, thinking, reasonable Christians.  When I turned to focusing primarily on discipleship, the switching of gears was taxing. In one way, I knew the price I was going to pay.  As a shepherd, you pay the ultimate price.  Remember the Lord’s conversation with Peter when he said, “when you were young you do everything you want but not so when you’re old?” Prior to that Jesus talked to Peter about shepherding.  So many things have to be sacrificed for the sheep.  But you know what? It was all worth it… because I know that the sacrifices that were made were not for self glory.  It was for God and His sheep.

Having said that, now with me back into the apologetics game, Zakir Naik and Ahmed Deedat have been reduced to a mere voice in a cacophony of voices to me.  I have to say that in the Muslim world so far, The only one that I have listened to that I thought I have to take seriously is Shabir Ally who, as many Muslims may know, thinks that the Qur’an is wrong to say that Jesus wasn’t crucified.  At least, Shabir Ally wrestles with Christianity in a worthwhile manner, positing arguments against Christianity in a well documented, well researched manner (in most cases). He may use some horrendous arguments against Christianity, but overall Shabir is exceptional.

Anyway, just to say… do you know why I am spending about 50% of my free time studying Islam and hardly any time is budgeted to atheism anymore? Because since 9/11, the media has been telling me over and over and over and over again that Islam is a religion of peace yet through the same media I see violence, after violence, after violence, after violence done in the name of Islam. I am blessed to live in a apatheistic Chinese community where there are hardly any missionaries. But I have friend of friends have been killed in several high profile abductions, violence, and what not. The price we pay for being a Christian in light of the sword.

So once and for all, I am going to set things straight for myself.  The media has contradicted itself long enough on this subject and I’m not about to be lazy and hide in my Bible Thumping shell while people the world over are getting massacred and driven off their homes.  I am going to study Islam not from the mouths of 21st century scholars and TV personalities but from its earliest sources.  I find the Shiites to hold lesser ground in terms of reasoning as compared to Sunnis.  That, and considering that they are composed of only about 10% of the Muslims around the world, there’s hardly any reason for me to look deeper into their beliefs, at least for now.  Suffice to say, my main focus of study is on the Sunnis.

I am quite happy as I write this blog because I am currently, probably at about 70 to 80% of how I used to be in the days where I am laser focused on doing apologetics.  Five months is a long long journey to get the ball rolling but hey, at least my focus is slowly shifting to the ministry that I want and always wanted to do.  I just hope that I can do it as my sole focus.

We’ll see.  God provides.


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