Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stand Firm...

I read an interesting quote from famous atheist Christopher Hitchens, regarding lessons he's learned in his debates with Christian apologist Douglas Wilson.

"Wilson isn't one of those evasive Christians who mumble apologetically about how some of the Bible stories are really just "metaphors." He is willing to maintain very staunchly that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and that his sacrifice redeems our state of sin, which in turn is the outcome of our rebellion against God. He doesn't waffle when asked why God allows so much evil and suffering—of course he "allows" it since it is the inescapable state of rebellious sinners. I much prefer this sincerity to the vague and Python-esque witterings of the interfaith and ecumenical groups who barely respect their own traditions and who look upon faith as just another word for community organizing."
So what do you think of that? All the time that so many postmodern Christians spend trying to lessen the offensiveness of the revealed truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, trying to explain away the hard-edged propositions in Scripture, trying to apologize for the scandalous sayings of Jesus and the like, so that they will be more accepted and not seen as intellectually challenged, and where does it get them? Even in the eyes of a hardened, antagonistic atheist like Hitchens, their lack of conviction is seen as "witterings", their lack of clarity as vagueness. In short, being unclear and uncommitted to the central and orthodox doctrines of Christian faith fails to earn any kind of respect. As it rightly should not.

One of the things about the gospel and Biblical Christian doctrine that appealed to me immediately upon my conversion and further reading is that it is imminently logical. There are really no logical contradictions in the essential truths of the gospel. And the implications of those truths, although sometimes hard to accept for many such as the issue of pain, suffering, evil, etc, are as Hitchens notes here, logical outcomes of the basic doctrines, in fact logical necessities.

So if even rank pagans who deny even the existence of the supernatural, let alone Yahweh God, can see these inconsistencies in so much of what passes for "Christian apologetics" these days, why do we have such a hard time doing the same? Believers, stand firm in your convictions of these orthodox and historical and central and logical doctrines and truths, regardless of how some may respond to them. Resist the temptation that so many today fall for to try to explain away these truths as analogies or metaphors, or even worse, to frame them as simply mystical and beyond any one's comprehension. Instead, embrace the logic and rationality of the gospel of Christ, the atonement of the cross, the imputed righteousness of Christ, the nature and attributes of God, the fallenness of man, and all the logical ramifications of these truths. Not in order to gain respect from atheists, agnostics and pagans. But because we are commanded to contend for the faith, for the glory of God.

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