Posts Tagged "mission"

Bitten

Bitten

By on Mar 24, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Imagine a hamster – cute, furry, endlessly running in its wheel – now imagine a pregnant hamster – teeth, fury, aggressive and unapproachable. Now imagine a young child full of compassion, nurture, not really knowing the hamster was pregnant – blood….. I am told that at the time my daughter was brave and relatively controlled. Back at home things were a different story. As she spoke these words ‘I picked up the hamster and IT BIT ME THROUGH THE FINGER’ her composure had changed from quiet misery to complete hysteria. Usually prone to bouts of irritation and impatience at times such as this I received grace to understand the situation.  She was expressing delayed shock and self-preservation, mixed with a little ‘injustice’ seasoning. The rodent’s lair clearly wasn’t a safe place for my daughter to try and understand her emotions. Life didn’t stack up that day and home was the place for release. Psychologists may have a slick mechanism for describing this type of affectivity but for me it’s simple. You’re living life, you get hurt, you need a safe place for release and search for it. In my life experience I can’t recall anybody I know who hasn’t gone through, or isn’t presently going through, this process. The hurt is usually different for each of us but its source is the same: a world fallen. The crux comes when we search for release mechanisms found in that same fallen world. Mankind needs something from beyond a quick-fix no-substance cycle often offered as a 21st century solution. At this point our ecclesiastical ‘spidey sense’ should be going into arachna-drive. Someone wrote once that because Jesus had come and brought all things into cosmic unity, the church He founded is now the manifold wisdom of God present on earth. This suggests we are the living embodiment of the solution to so many people’s hurt. We, amongst whom God dwells, are the safe place for release into freedom so many people need in our community. Nobody’s told them that either. With reluctance and grim openness I face a difficult truth. The further I move into the church the less amenable I am to model the truth I have just written. ‘Sure,...

Read More
What’s the Point of Apologetics?

What’s the Point of Apologetics?

By on Feb 3, 2013 in Blog |

“You can’t argue people into the Kingdom, it just doesn’t work that way. People just need to be shown God’s love, to have an encounter with the Holy Spirit’s power. Trying to prove God’s existence is a waste of time.” I think this statement captures the feeling that many of us have about apologetics today. Those of us who don’t take this position are probably familiar with it. Apologetics is associated with heated arguments that lead nowhere, arrogant rationality, and a misguided understanding of what motivates human beings to change. Was anyone ever logically persuaded to become a Christian? On the contrary, ask any number of recent converts how they got saved, and you will hear countless stories of God’s love breaking into a person’s life, softening their heart, and showing himself to them. These things speak for themselves. Perhaps there is a small place for defending the faith intellectually, for a few high-flying Christian academics in Universities, but by and large we have more effective ways of spreading the gospel. I want to suggest that we’ve misunderstood the point of apologetics. I believe if we think about it differently, we will see that apologetics is actually an essential way to show God’s love to our non-Christian friends and neighbours – a love enriched with wisdom and understanding. Also, we will see apologetics as something for everyone, to a greater or lesser degree, to get involved with. First of all, I agree wholeheartedly that you can’t argue anyone into salvation. A lot of harm has been done by attempts to do this, and it usually alienates people even further from the gospel. It’s also obvious that hardly anyone has ever become Christian from losing an argument about God’s existence. Second, I agree with the two usual evangelism alternatives: “Just love people” and “They need an encounter with the Holy Spirit.” Once God has touched someone’s life – either in a way that we call supernatural, or through the power of the love of Jesus operating through his church – only then will they be open to the gospel’s message. Belief will come after experience has made belief possible. However, I think we’re often too quick to assume that we...

Read More