Advent Apologetics Day #9 – Changing Minds?

starIf repentance = “Changing one’s mind,” and “repentance leads to life” (Acts 11:18, 2 Corinthians 7:10), then changing one’s mind leads to life.  

If that’s correct, then the goal of apologetics should be to help others (with the hope) (1 Peter 1:3) change their minds.  

The Bible points out that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8-14; Acts 3:19). Acts 26:20 declares, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action.

Regarding these thoughts, I’ve come across two interesting quotes that seem to contradict each other:

1.  “It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than think your way into a new way of acting.”  

This quote comes from Jerry Sternin’s book The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems.


2.  “You have to change your mind before you change the way you live and move.”  

This quote is by singer Scott-Heron and pointed out in a book by Kim Hammond and Darren Cronshaw titled Sentness: Six Postures of Missional Christians

I love the tension in these two ideas, especially as it relates to apologetics and this series. Whether we must act our way into a new way of thinking or think our way into a new way of acting well represents the challenge and friction in modern-day apologetics.

It would be easy to say this is a “Both & And” situation and not an “Either Or,” but how you approach apologetics and people will demonstrate which approach you are more disposed to.  Two questions:

What has been your best approach to get another to change his or her mind?

What does an apologetic action look like to you?  Be specific.  


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0 thoughts on “Advent Apologetics Day #9 – Changing Minds?

  1. Peter says:

    To misquote Descartes, “I think, therefore I act.” I’m firmly on the side of thinking always proceeding behavior. When Sternin tries to act his way into a new way of thinking, what he is *really* trying to do is get his feelings to align with his thinking. The very fact that he is trying to act his way into a mindset means he has already accepted that mindset as true, a worthy goal. He just doesn’t feel very happy about it and by actions is trying to make his previous decision more palatable.

  2. Laurie Norris says:

    a. Love
    b. Argument

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