14 02 2012

One of my passions is evangelism.  I know it’s the dreaded “E-Word” in many church circles, a rouser-of-hostility in parts of the broader culture.  But evangelism is the “Good News of the Kingdom.”  It is the awesome and life-transforming proclamation that our Holy God chooses mercy over judgment, loves us enough to take the penalty of our sin, and give is new life as part of His Kingdom of love, wholeness, and peace.  It’s the Good News that we are destined for joy!

One of the things I teach is a discipline known as apologetics, explaining the faith to people.  It is sometimes called defending the faith, but it is my experience that what I do best is to re-present the faith so that people discover the Good News that God loves them and wants them to be a part of the awesome thing He is doing to bring abundant and eternal life to humankind.

The Apostle Peter challenged us: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”  I do not believe that means it is my job to persuade men to agree with me, but to help men see the truth and agree with God. When I have a reason that can be articulated intelligently and lovingly, the Holy Spirit finds fertile ground for life transformation.

Austin Farrar once wrote:  “Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish.”

Ravi  Zacharias has  that the purpose of apologetics “is not to get someone to change their mind, but to open their mind.”

The apostle Paul said that the ultimate process of becoming a disciple requires a renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1).

So an open mind—which is an honest mind—is a mind that is receptive to the Truth—the One who sets us free.

So it is my prayer each day that I will say or do something that helps people open their minds to the great Good News that God loves them and wants to make them New.

© 2012 by Stephen L. Dunn