Advent Apologetics Day #6 – Countering Foolishness

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Living in the tension between foolishness and wisdom while being amongst others can be a delicate matter, even for the most mature of believers. When tempted to give an answer to asked or unasked questions, prudence decides between:

“Not answering a fool according to their folly and becoming like them.” (Proverbs 26:4)

and

“Answering fools as their folly deserves,That they not be wise in their own eyes. (Proverbs 26:5)

Foolishness has a certain appeal, a form of freedom if you will. Foolish people don’t stop to reflect on their actions and often are convinced that they don’t need to. They are characteristically unimaginative, don’t stop to consider how their words affect others, and amplify their own thoughts through anger, selfishness and ignorance. Foolishness despises wisdom and teaching (Proverbs 1:7), quarrels over opinions (Romans 14:1), serves with divided interests (Luke 16:13), and seeks refuge amongst insecure people and places (Psalm 118:8).

Advent Apologetics is about hoping with others, not heaping hurt on them.

But being smarter or even right doesn’t always equate with being more reflective or thoughtful. For many, apologetics is more about proving rightness rather than showing and righteousness. Dallas Willard once said;

“A thoughtless or uninformed theology grips and guides our life with just as great a force as does a thoughtful and informed one.”

Leading up to everyone’s favorite verse on apologetics, 1 Peter 3:15 on Christmas Eve, today’s text comes from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:

“Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:20-22)

Paul is not asking where the Grecian sophists or well reasoning rabbinical hair-splitters are. He’s asking; “Where are those who have hope?” Where are the proclaimers of hope and what is their message?

“It is one thing to show (or attempt to show) that assorted arguments against religious faith are weak or unsound; it is a rather different task to offer people reasons why they should believe. The latter is the task of Advent Apologetics.” ~ Adapted from Ronald Nash

It’s easier, for all of us, to be cynical or angry than hopeful or kindly towards others where matters of faith are concerned. It’s easier for us to leave the true work of apologetics to the few “gifted ones.”

Advent Apologetics is not an intellectual enterprise for the elite or a franchise for the few. Advent Apologetics is the task of all believers at all times. We can all give reasons for the hope within us.

10152232767335087For the past 10 years, we have been adventing during the holiday season by providing tons of food to the families in need during the holiday season. It’s not a fanfare and forget event. We go back throughout the year and visit with them, pray with them, and give them a message of hope. Please consider sponsoring one family this year. Find out more here.

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