First, I apologize that it has been a while since I've blogged. With computer issues it became difficult to post the Apologetics Together Videos and I've been busy in the garden....which brings me to this post.
In thinking about Apologetics sometimes one may wonder why even bother. Why defend the faith? Why discuss, debate and defend? After all, a lion needs no defending, right? (Charles Spurgeon said something about that...)
If we applied that type of thinking to any other field, say English Literature or Science or Mathematics, we might be laughed out of their field. Why study if you won't inquire about its veracity and truth? Why study that field if you're not going to use it in life? vocation? etc?
Too many Christians, whom I've met and love dearly, do not see why we should defend the faith. In the church I grew up in, Seminary was called a Cemetery because "that's where your faith goes to die..." Somehow Faith and Knowledge are opposite of each other? Somehow education may ruin your faith? Somehow learning about your faith (not the doctrines alone but defending it) makes your belief null and void? I grew up being told, "Learn everything you can about as many things as you can because you never know when God will use it." I had wise parents. So, I've applied that, or attempted to as much as possible, to my Christian Faith. I find myself not only reading more and more about what we believe (doctrine) by why we believe it and should believe it (apologetics). I also find myself reading journals from other areas such as science and archaeology or history. However, many Christians don't think that is important. I disgree.
You see, we need to know not only WHAT we believe but WHY we believe it. I've been reading three books this summer: Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions (because I need my theology straightened out after growing up pentecostal and then becoming reformed/calvinist), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the writings of JRRR Tolken by Donald T. Williams and then The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature by CS Lewis (series of Lectures)
Concordia tells me what the Bible teaches in a succinct and simple manner. I read it along with my Bible to hedge up the walls of good theology and remove some bad foundation stones laid by other theological beliefs. It reminds me that God's promises are Yay and Amen. It reminds me that I'm saved from the outside by God's Sacraments of Water Baptism and the Lord's Supper through this amazing faith that He gives as a free gift.
An Encouraging Thought: This book is simply amazing. Dr. Williams is showing how Tolkien took the Christian faith and incorporated it into his fantasy books because the truths of Christianity are the Truths the world needs. He's making me realize that the films don't cut it and I should really read all volumes of The Lord of the Rings.
The Discarded Image: This was recommended by an LCMS Pastor (I forget who specifically) on Twitter. So, I picked it up and now I can't put it down. Lewis is simply brilliant and finding theology in the old books may mean I'll need a few more bookshelves and more office space. LOL
Each of these books is helping me to develop skills through the knowledge passed to me. I reference them here because it is important that all Christians read and digest, think about and contemplate, on books that help you defend the faith. I may never have to do that with a Literary Major, but I think it wise to have that tool in my evangelism toolbox just in case.
So, let me encourage you to read widely. To think about how the average, everyday person, thinks about life, eternal things, spiritual and religious ideas and where they're going? Is there something else out there? Is there life after here? As Dr. John W Montgomery has said,
A well-read Christian is a well-prepared Christian.
I hope you will join me on Monday, June 29th for the next #ApologeticsTogether Zoom Class. Don't forget to sign-up (If you haven't in the past) for the course on the Contacts Form found on the Homepage (www.lutherangirl.org) You'll receive an email with the Zoom invitation.
Have a wonderful day.