Saturday, April 1st, 2023...6:56 pm

Apologetics with Gentleness and Respect

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In general, reformed Christians are better at the “always be ready to give a defense” part of 1 Peter 3:15 than the “yet do it with gentleness and respect” part.

When I first learned about apologetics (and particularly the presuppositional apologetics of Cornelius Van Til and Greg Bahnsen), I went out looking for opportunities to apply the concepts. It went about as well as one can expect a young, enthusiastic Calvinist aspiring apologist to work out. Strangers on the internet whom I had no relationship with outside of arguing for the truth of Christianity from the impossibility of the contrary were not very receptive. Maybe some of those interactions produced fruit unbeknownst to me, but I was not the paragon of gentleness and respect. I had the Bahnsen Hammer and everything looked like a nail.

As I’ve matured, I’ve realized that I had overemphasized the priority of apologetics in the Christian walk. It’s far more important to love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, and overcome evil with good. Apologetics is like responsible gun ownership. You train hoping you’ll never need to use the weapon in a live situation rather than strolling around like Yosemite Sam and being the rootingest tootingest apologist north, south, east, and west of the Pecos.

This is a recording from a Sunday school session at Holy Trinity Reformed Church in Concord, NC where I filled in as a substitute teacher. The visuals are a combination of great Christian artwork throughout the ages and silly memes.

Video chapters:

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