Defending Our Faith, Part 4

As being prepared to defend your faith is essential for you as a Christian, I hope the facets of readiness that I’ve written about over the last three weeks have been helpful to you. To sum it up – consider where your heart is. For like all other spiritual matters, this is where apologetics begins. Do you honor and fear God? Or do you fear man? Never forget that it’s Spirit-wrought godly fear that fuels our passion to proclaim and bear good witness of that glorious, living hope that is ours in Christ. So, seek the Lord diligently in prayer to get any fear of man out of your heart and mind and to ground and mobilize you in the fear of Him. This living hope is a comforting and strengthening hope that, by God’s grace, others can see, be amazed and ask why you have it. Its a hope that we proclaim with others from heart of gentleness and respect, even when faced with persecution for what we share.

Knowing things and seeking to keep them in practice, what else should we have foundational understanding of as we consider more of the details of the methods of a biblical defense? First, let’s consider the Lordship of Christ in the realm of knowledge. As God is the sovereign Creator of all that is, nothing exists outside His Lordship. This means that no facts or knowledge are neutral. All things are either in submission or in opposition to Christ’s Lordship. It’s looking through this lens that we can better respond to the notion of neutrality, along with the plea for Christians to surrender to neutrality in our thinking. Yet, such neutrality is a myth that strikes at the heart of our faith and faithfulness to God. Dr. Greg Bahnsen in his book, Always Ready, gives helpful insight regarding the demand of neutrality in apologetics.

“Sometimes the demand for neutrality arises in the realm of apologetics (defense of the faith). We are told by some apologists that they would lose all hearing with the unbelieving world if they were to approach the question of Scripture’s truthfulness with a preconceived answer to the question. We must be willing, according to this outlook, to approach the debate with unbelievers with a common attitude of neutrality- a “nobody knows as yet” attitude. We must assume as little as possible at the outset, we are told; and this means that we cannot assume any Christian premises or teachings of the Bible…Whatever some people may say with respect to the demand for neutrality in the Christian’s thought– the demand that believers not be set apart from other men by their adherence to God’s truth– the fact is that Scripture sharply differs with this demand. God’s Word demands unreserved allegiance to God and His truth in all our thought and scholarly endeavors” (Bahnsen, pp. 3-4).

Consider the Apostle Paul’s words in Col. 2:1-8, “For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

Take note of, and meditate, on the wonderful truths here. What is hidden in Christ? All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Paul says it’s critical for us to know this as many will try to deceptively persuade us otherwise. Therefore, we have no business surrendering to any demand of neutrality. There is no neutrality. We must be presuppositionally committed to Christ in thought and knowledge, grounded in the faith we have been taught. Therefore, Beloved, as we are rooted and built up in Christ, as all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him, the defense of our faith must be distinctly Christian. We are called to unreservedly and faithfully proclaim Christ, knowing and resting in the reality that it’s the work of the Holy Spirit to open ears and regenerate hearts. Further, we must remain steadfast in our faith and walk in Christ, paying special attention and taking heed to Paul’s warning in v. 8.

For further study, I commend Dr. Cornelius Van Til’s book, A Christian Theory of Knowledge, to you. A copy is in our Lending Library, if you’d like to check it out.