Apologetics and Daily Experience
Written by K. Scott Oliphint |
Thursday, March 9, 2023
As Christian apologetics seeks for connections between Christianity and those who would oppose it, so also can persuasion engage in confrontation between opposing views. The two topics, then, far from being mutually exclusive, sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron. As a matter of fact, as we will see, these two topics substantially and significantly overlap, or at least they should.
Almost immediately after my conversion to Christ, I was eager to tell people what had happened to me so they might have the same experience. I became a volunteer leader in an evangelistic ministry, and it was not long before I had the opportunity to communicate to others the joy and reality of my own conversion. I wanted both to commend and defend the Christian faith. One occasion from those early days sticks out in my memory—a conversation with a man who had become a good friend.
I remember my almost desperate desire that this man be converted. I wanted to tell him all I had learned and to defend its truth if needed. I sat down with him one day and began to explain the gospel to him. I talked about God as our Creator. I explained how sin had entered our world through Adam. I gave him examples of sin’s effects in almost every aspect of the world today.
Then I recounted to him the story of Christmas and told him the good news of the cross of Christ, his resurrection, and ascension. I then told him that, like the Philippian jailer, all that was required on our part was to believe in Christ and we would be saved. I flooded him with as much information as I could muster.
As a young and inexperienced Christian, I was greatly encouraged that throughout the discussion, he was nodding in agreement with everything I said. I was ready to defend it all, but he had no real objections. It all seemed to be so seamless and easy. I don’t recall that he had even a single question for me.
When I had said everything I knew to say, I asked him if he was ready to make a commitment and to believe in Christ. He answered with a single word: “No.”
I was stunned. I asked him, given what I had said, why he wasn’t ready to make a commitment. His response still rings in my ears: “Nothing you have said indicates that I need this. I can’t see the need for a commitment.” His response devastated me, though I tried not to show it.