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Apologetic Value of the Christian Life Not being Utilized

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  • calmhillsoulman
    Hello friends, Apologists today often look back to the committed lives of those early Christians to demonstrate that Christianity is real. This has been one
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 29, 2004
      Hello friends,

      Apologists today often look back to the committed lives of those
      early Christians to demonstrate that Christianity is real. This has
      been one of the bits of evidence successfully used by modern-day
      apologists. We look back to the first Christians and see how their
      lives were so radically committed and changed by the reality of the
      risen Christ. What about our lives today?

      Perhaps there are two fundamental reasons why we Evangelical
      Christians do not emphasize the reality of Christ in our daily lives
      and use that as a powerful apologetic for the fact of His
      resurrection and for the truthfulness of His Word. As I mentioned in
      my previous message, our daily lives can be the most powerful
      apologetic that we have for the truthfulness and reliability of
      Scripture. Its truth can and should be validated by the way in which
      Christians live their lives each day. (See my earlier message which
      addressed this point in light of John 14:12.)

      WHY DON'T MORE CHRISTIANS TODAY USE THE APOLOGETIC VALUE OF THEIR OWN
      DAILY LIVES TO DEMONSTRATE THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THE SCRIPTURES?
      Here are some things to consider when answering that question.
      Maybe we don't have that reality.
      Maybe we have it but are not experiencing it fully
      Maybe we have it but are not experiencing it consistently.
      Maybe we have it, but we feel that the need to produce objective
      evidence discounts the value of our personal experience.
      Sometimes the very way in which we characterize the example of our
      lives—i.e., as our "personal" testimonies, or by putting qualifiers
      on it such as, "Christians aren't perfect, `just' forgiven"—frames
      it from the outset as being something we are offering of only
      marginal significance and value. The real "proof" of the risen Lord,
      then is left to be found only in the "objective" evidence that we
      provide, and in the soundness and cogency of our logical arguments.

      PERHAPS MORE CHRISTIANS DO NOT UTILIZE THE APOLOGETIC VALUE OF THEIR
      OWN LIVES FOR TWO REASONS:
      1. Perhaps not that many Christians are actually convinced and/or
      committed to Christ. Even if they are committed, perhaps they are
      not living life in the power of the Holy Spirit. Or perhaps they
      are, but not very consistently or faithfully. Thus, one day they may
      be "on fire" but the next day they may be caught up with sin and its
      guilt. Perhaps private sins or secret sins hold us in check.

      Maybe we see that we just cannot sustain our Christian example on a
      consistent basis. Perhaps we don't want to set ourselves up for a
      fall. If we don't speak too boldly and loudly now when we may be
      feeling confident in the Lord, then later when we "mess up" or "blow
      it"—i.e., when we get caught in sin again, then it won't be as
      difficult and problematic. If we don't make such a big issue about
      being a Christian now, then when we sin later, people won't make such
      a big issue about our sin. Is this weakness in the daily walk of
      Christians, keeping us from a powerful apologetic for the reality of
      the Risen Lord, and by extension the truth of His written Word—the
      Bible?

      2. The emphasis in apologetics is often placed on evidence, reason,
      logic, objectivity, verifiability, and science.
      Subjective "evidence" is often considered as hardly being any
      evidence at all. It cannot easily stand against the tide of
      relativism. If our personal and privatized experiences are raised to
      the status of convincing evidence, then almost anything goes. Any
      truth claim can be made without the need for substantiation or
      objective verification. Thus, because we live in a world that puts
      such a premium on objective evidence, our own personal lives and
      experiences are not given too much weight. The full apologetic
      significance of a Christian life well lived is reduced by the very
      cultural climate in which we find ourselves. Thus the apologetic
      value of our lives is called into question by the kind of world in
      which we live today.

      Perhaps, even if most Christians did in fact live dynamic,
      consistent, and powerful lives, this may still have very little
      impact on our society. But I would like to think that there is much
      more potential, and that we could get a lot more apologetic "mileage"
      from the evidence provided by doing the works of Christ, and even
      greater works. At least, I think that people would be asking us more
      questions and perhaps expressing greater interest in who we are and
      why we live the way we do. (Depending on the circumstances, they
      might even ask, "How did you do that?") I would like to think that
      they would express greater interest in knowing more about Christ and
      Christianity. Wouldn't it be nice to find out if I am correct?

      Calmhillsoulman
    • Jeff Koenig
      I would think that Paul s godly life, and his miracles, provided good reasons for people to believe that his message was from God. But when Paul argued and
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 31, 2004
        Message
        I would think that Paul's godly life, and his miracles, provided good reasons for people to believe that his message was from God.
         
        But when Paul argued and tried to persuade people to believe in the Book of Acts, I see him mainly arguing from scripture (mainly arguing that Jesus had fulfilled the OT prophesies about the Messiah) and history, not from his own godliness or even his miracles.  I'm thinking, for instance, of Acts 28:17-23, where Paul was "trying to persuade them [certain Jews] concerning jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets."  I know Paul also told people about his conversion experience as well.
         
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: calmhillsoulman [mailto:calmhillsoulman@...]
        Sent: Friday, October 29, 2004 2:18 PM
        To: biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [biblicalapologetics] Apologetic Value of the Christian Life Not being Utilized


        Hello friends,

        Apologists today often look back to the committed lives of those
        early Christians to demonstrate that Christianity is real.  This has
        been one of the bits of evidence successfully used by modern-day
        apologists.  We look back to the first Christians and see how their
        lives were so radically committed and changed by the reality of the
        risen Christ.  What about our lives today?

        Perhaps there are two fundamental reasons why we Evangelical
        Christians do not emphasize the reality of Christ in our daily lives
        and use that as a powerful apologetic for the fact of His
        resurrection and for the truthfulness of His Word.  As I mentioned in
        my previous message, our daily lives can be the most powerful
        apologetic that we have for the truthfulness and reliability of
        Scripture.  Its truth can and should be validated by the way in which
        Christians live their lives each day. (See my earlier message which
        addressed this point in light of John 14:12.)

        WHY DON'T MORE CHRISTIANS TODAY USE THE APOLOGETIC VALUE OF THEIR OWN
        DAILY LIVES TO DEMONSTRATE THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THE SCRIPTURES? 
        Here are some things to consider when answering that question.
        Maybe we don't have that reality.
        Maybe we have it but are not experiencing it fully
        Maybe we have it but are not experiencing it consistently.
        Maybe we have it, but we feel that the need to produce objective
        evidence discounts the value of our personal experience.
        Sometimes the very way in which we characterize the example of our
        lives—i.e., as our "personal" testimonies, or by putting qualifiers
        on it such as,  "Christians aren't perfect, `just' forgiven"—frames
        it from the outset as being something we are offering of only
        marginal significance and value.  The real "proof" of the risen Lord,
        then is left to be found only in the "objective" evidence that we
        provide, and in the soundness and cogency of our logical arguments.

        PERHAPS MORE CHRISTIANS DO NOT UTILIZE THE APOLOGETIC VALUE OF THEIR
        OWN LIVES FOR TWO REASONS:
        1.  Perhaps not that many Christians are actually convinced and/or
        committed to Christ.  Even if they are committed, perhaps they are
        not living life in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Or perhaps they
        are, but not very consistently or faithfully.  Thus, one day they may
        be "on fire" but the next day they may be caught up with sin and its
        guilt.  Perhaps private sins or secret sins hold us in check. 

        Maybe we see that we just cannot sustain our Christian example on a
        consistent basis.  Perhaps we don't want to set ourselves up for a
        fall.  If we don't speak too boldly and loudly now when we may be
        feeling confident in the Lord, then later when we "mess up" or "blow
        it"—i.e., when we get caught in sin again, then it won't be as
        difficult and problematic.  If we don't make such a big issue about
        being a Christian now, then when we sin later, people won't make such
        a big issue about our sin.  Is this weakness in the daily walk of
        Christians, keeping us from a powerful apologetic for the reality of
        the Risen Lord, and by extension the truth of His written Word—the
        Bible?

        2.  The emphasis in apologetics is often placed on evidence, reason,
        logic, objectivity, verifiability, and science. 
        Subjective "evidence" is often considered as hardly being any
        evidence at all.  It cannot easily stand against the tide of
        relativism.  If our personal and privatized experiences are raised to
        the status of convincing evidence, then almost anything goes.  Any
        truth claim can be made without the need for substantiation or
        objective verification.  Thus, because we live in a world that puts
        such a premium on objective evidence, our own personal lives and
        experiences are not given too much weight.  The full apologetic
        significance of a Christian life well lived is reduced by the very
        cultural climate in which we find ourselves.  Thus the apologetic
        value of our lives is called into question by the kind of world in
        which we live today.

        Perhaps, even if most Christians did in fact live dynamic,
        consistent, and powerful lives, this may still have very little
        impact on our society.  But I would like to think that there is much
        more potential, and that we could get a lot more apologetic "mileage"
        from the evidence provided by doing the works of Christ, and even
        greater works.  At least, I think that people would be asking us more
        questions and perhaps expressing greater interest in who we are and
        why we live the way we do.  (Depending on the circumstances, they
        might even ask, "How did you do that?")  I would like to think that
        they would express greater interest in knowing more about Christ and
        Christianity.  Wouldn't it be nice to find out if I am correct?

        Calmhillsoulman






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