One of the families we were happy to meet and serve during last year’s Christmas Basket Project in a community where the Gospel was not known.
“If your apologetic isn’t rooted in hope, then it’s just an argument from malice.”
Advent Apologetics is about hope for the helpless.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said;
“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes… and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.”
Advent apologetics doesn’t put winning arguments over winning some. (1 Corinthians 9:22) It doesn’t assume a posture of defense, but one of discipleship. It doesn’t contend without caring. It doesn’t overstate its case. It’s not the impersonal deliverance of facts meant to convince people of the rationality of Christianity. Advent apologetics “hopes all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Advent Apologetics is about being the body of Christ in the midst of people. It’s not about being God’s Truth body-guard. While I respect much of what John Calvin has written, I’d have to take issue with this statement;
“A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.”
Assuming this sort of posture makes us ready to pounce on others instead of being prepared to listen to them and lift them higher than ourselves. (Philippians 2:3) Quietness in apologetics, the absence of words, can be a powerful alternative. Hope incarnated depends and waits for God. Todays obscure apologetics text is Job 5:13-16;
“He captures the wise by their own shrewdness,
And the advice of the cunning is quickly thwarted.
“By day they meet with darkness,
And grope at noon as in the night.
“But He saves from the sword of their mouth,
And the poor from the hand of the mighty.
“So the helpless has hope,
And unrighteousness must shut its mouth.
“Apologetics often attracts people who have been emotionally hurt, and in turn, who use apologetics to hurt other people.” ~ Mark Matlock
Our goal in Advent Apologetics is not to hurt or hate or try to shut other’s mouths, but to recognize the helplessness and be hopeful. Taking attacks of God’s truth personally might be a signal that you’re not personally hopeful. Jesus already took it all… ‘personally,’ so you don’t have to.
We’re leading up to 1 Peter 3:15 on Christmas Eve during advent. I’d invite you to come back for Day #4 tomorrow.
For “Giving Tuesday,” consider the following:
For the past 10 years, we adventing 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.