For reasons I do not understand an old post saw some new life today. A follower came across “Remember What We Are Called To” in her reader this morning, originally published June 30, 2015. The subject is 1 Peter 3:15 which I just preached on again Sunday morning as part of a series through 1st Peter. The context back in 2015 was the Supreme Court decision striking down state laws banning same-sex marriage. So with a new introduction here is the body of that post. Good shelf life on this one (just remember it’s from the archives when I mention President Obama).
1 Peter 3:15 is the basis for Christian Apologetics. Apologetics may sound like apologizing but an apologist is one that defends the Christian faith. It’s about being prepared to answer questions about why we believe what we believe. One must be well versed in scripture and certain that his own faith has been built on a sure foundation. Apologetics may involve boldness, defending a faith that is not always popular, but care must also be taken not to offend. We will offend people by sharing the Gospel; but we must be sure is the cross that offends and not us. Continue reading →
I am preaching through the 1st Epistle of Peter at Unity Baptist. On Sunday morning our text included the verse most often used as the basis for Christian Apologetics: “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15. To emphasize the significance of apologetics I pointed out that our Sunday school curriculum will have a unit on the subject in December. I also pulled a couple of books from the shelf in my office and mentioned that the concept could probably be found in many other books even without the word apologetics in the title. One of the two books I held up as examples was The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, edited by Ed Hinson and Ergun Caner. Continue reading →
The Supreme Court announced their decision regarding state issued bans on same-sex marriage on Friday morning. Social media came alive with reaction; supporters changed their profile image to the rainbow flag and used the hashtag #lovewins, some angry Christians expressed despair in the collapse of America and quoted verses from Leviticus. But what caught my attention were the Christians that calmly reminded us we live in and also apart from the culture we are immersed in.
I pastor a small SBC church in the deep South. Below is my Sunday morning sermon, directed to my own congregation with all Christians everywhere in mind. Whatever your initial reaction was to Friday’s news, please prayerfully consider this position:Continue reading →
I don’t have a “Watch and Share File” but take a look at this. Leon Brown wrote an article listing three common objections people have to receiving the Gospel. In a sit down interview he discusses those objections and lists practical responses.
I’m listening to Leon Brown and thinking about the ministry of Jesus. Jesus was not thinking about the number of baptisms he could list or the number of contacts he could report making. His ministry wasn’t about sheer numbers as much as it was about changing people’s lives; real people that he cared about. Jesus sometimes argued with religious leaders, but he didn’t really waste a lot of time on them. He was more likely talking to tax collectors and prostitutes, touching lepers, preaching the Gospel to the poor, or explaining the kingdom to the working class.
There’s a lot of wisdom in the things Leon Brown says, but notice also how he carries himself and the mind set with which he approaches sharing the Gospel. He is sowing seeds rather than trying to win a debate about how everyone else is wrong. This is some of the most practical apologetics I’ve heard in a long time. Let me blunt:
We should all listen to this guy and share the Gospel the way he does.
A straw man is an argument set up by one’s opponent that can easily be defeated. This video is quite condemning of Christianity as an organized religion. If all these things were true I probably wouldn’t be a Christian either. Watch the video a couple of times, and perhaps take a minute to calm down. You may need a dose of Maalox, then consider these counter points:
You WERE NOT born worthless. If Christians are teaching this as doctrine they need to be slapped, not the makers of this film. You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. There is no person without worth, regardless of the judgements passed by the world or by Christians. Continue reading →