Each day, during Advent, I’ll be posting a short article relating two things; Apologetics and Advent. This is the second part in the series. I’d invite you to read the first part here.
It might seem odd, but I believe Advent and Apologetics do fit well together. Yesterday, I said that I would proceed on the following 2 assumptions in developing this series:
1. “Apologetics is not about defending your faith.”
2. “Advent is about being hopeful amongst others.”
Os Guinness had this to say regarding apologetics,
“Culturally, one of the best arguments we can make is, wait and see.”
It’s the hopeful attitude of active waiting that captures the imagination of people. Have you ever watched people waiting for something? Have you ever made judgements of their character about how the wait?
Standing around debating theological theory might be intellectually stimulating, but does very little in the way of transformative convincing. Advent is, or should be, about waiting, watching, and our working attitude in our hope.
As I said in the previous post, I hope to develop a new understanding of apologetics as we lead up to the linchpin of apologetic texts (1 Peter 3:15), by using some other obscure and often overlooked passages from the bible.
In our text for today, Paul tells the Colossians…
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth… To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:3-6,27
Again, we see that a hope anticipated, activates the people of God to live amongst the “Gentiles” or unbelievers in such a way as to make known the glory of our hope, Jesus the Christ.
Instead of a combative apologetic that assumes a defense-defense-attack posture, the Advent Apologist seeks to enter into communal vulnerability with the unsure and be hopeful among them.
J.D. Greear, in “Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary,” says;
“In a post-Christian, skeptical age, love on display is the most convincing apologetic.”
An Advent Apologetic is one that does not seek to control others by overwhelming them with information and dominating the conversation, but one that is ready to say “I don’t know, but if you’d like to walk with me for a while we can search together.”
“Apologetics is about persuading people that there is a door to another world—a door that perhaps they never realized existed. Evangelism is about helping people to open that door and enter into the new world that lies beyond.” ~ Alister E. McGrath
* My name is Miguel Labrador. I am a missionariy in the Cloud Forest Region of Ecuador. We have been Adventing for the past 10 years by providing food to those in the region that have needed it most during the holiday season. We’d invite you to join us in this. Find out more.