If 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.”
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.
Celebrate Advent by feeding a family over the Holiday Season. Click here for more details.