1. Illinois
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    02 Jul '08 08:45
    "....but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence" (1 Pet. 3:15, NASB).

    I'd draw your attention to these words in particular: "make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." The picture which Peter paints here of a Christian apologist is a far cry from the type of Christian apologist many of us strive, or have striven, to be. Our intentions may be good, but blinded by zeal we come across as intellectually arrogant, aggressive, holier-than-thou, bullies; going out of our way to defend the hope that is in us whether we have been asked to do so or not.

    In light of such audacity, is it any wonder that non-believers and skeptics have derided and continue to deride our uninvited proselytizing, and by extension the Bible, in such a gleefully irreverent and heretical manner? I assure you, such "persecutions" in no way redound to your benefit, nor are they the natural result of your faith in Christ. The type of persecution which Christ refers to in Matthew 5:10 is that which occurs as a direct effect of living a righteous life, and not some inexplicable hatred for Christians in general arising without cause. Undoubtedly, most of the so-called persecutions heaped upon the heads of modern Christians are well-deserved.

    So much of effective evangelism is dependent upon others witnessing the righteousness which defines your life, and the hope which lights it, that simply hurling words at people in the name of Christ, no matter how clever or sincere, cannot be anything but a source of amusement for non-believers. If I have learned one thing in the Spirituality Forum it is that online apologetics don't work. Precisely because it just isn't possible for others "here" in cyber-space (which is 99.9% imaginary to begin with) to see how you live your life when you're not proselytizing behind a faceless facade, where there is zero accountability or personal risk involved.

    Peter says that we should be able to give an account for the hope that is in us, but how, pray tell, is it possible for someone to see the hope which lights your life through a series of 1's and 0's? And if no one can see the hope that is in you, then how could they ever be inspired to ask about it? And if no one is genuinely inspired to ask about it, then why does there continue to be Christian apologetics online at all?
  2. Joined
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    02 Jul '08 10:576 edits
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    "....but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence" (1 Pet. 3:15, NASB).

    I'd draw your attention to these words in particular: "make a defense to everyone who [b]asks
    you to give an account for the [b about it, then why does there continue to be Christian apologetics online at all?[/b]
    We have talked about this and I think that there are many valuable things which I and other brothers in Christ could learn from your fellowship.

    I don't know if I am an online apologist or not. I am a Christian concerned with the Great Commission.

    I only consider that you would not assume a few things:

    1.) I would not assume that we are all hunting for "persecutions".


    2.) I would not assume that we consider all rebukes as "persecutions". Clearly as James taught we teachers all make mistakes. Rebukes for mistakes I do not consider as persecutions.

    3.) I would not assume that we are interested in talking endlessly to the same people who have clearly rejected our word.

    There is no law making them stop asking more and more questions. At best we can ignore them and talk to those new ones who arrive . How do we know that they are not true seekers?

    4.) I would not assume that typing things on the Internet is the ONLY Christian life and testimony that we have.


    5.) The medium is there and certainly used by the Devil. Why should it not be used to share the Gospel also.

    The Plymouth Brethren are often very pure in motive and in their desire to sanctify Christ. When taper recorders came out they thought not to use this modern invention because of thier concern for the sanctity of Christ.

    Nevertheless, tape recorders, I think, have also been valuable in the teaching and preaching of the Gospel.

    In the same way, some Christian may shy away from the Internet Discussion as too modern of a device to be used by the Holy Spirit. They have that freedom of conscience to feel that way. But others, through prayer and dependency on the Spirit may feel that Internet Discussion could also, like the tape recorder, be an invention useful to the Lord of the Harvest.



    The book of Acts ends with Paul in his rented house daily teaching and preaching the word of God. In some ways it doesn't even look as if his daily labors were that successful. However, that's how he spent his time. And he will answer not to me but to Christ for his labors - no man hindering him.

    Career skeptics, mockers, goofers, blasphemers it is hard to avoid. We can ignore them. And I don't believe that absolutely no one who attends these discussions might not as a result open up a Bible and do some reading for themselves.

    For me, if I cause someone to decide that maybe they should dust off theit Bible and read for themselves what is there, that is a profitable thing.


    One last point dear brother. It was a major turning point in my life when I went down into a Christian Coffee House and observed some defense and confirmation of the Gospel, I asked questions too. I did not come to fight but to actually find out what they thought. Seeing a young man take the time to give me a good answer impressed me. And from that point I decided that the Bible must be worthwhile to study.

    This occured to me around 1970 at the Hidden Manna Coffee House in Philadelphia PA. And I never forgot it.

    That little Coffee House was the 1970 version of the Spirituality Forum. Though I will grant you that there was the benefit of face to face contact and a little more control, but sometimes not much more.


    New people come on. Some of them deserve a benefit of a doubt IMO.

    One other thing - as far as "Holier Than Thou". Sometimes we are holier because of the Holy One Who has sanctified us unto Himself. It is not any holiness of our own doing.

    We have to believe that "saints" (all Christians believers) are at least positionally holier than those who have not yet been called out and sanctified unto Christ.
  3. Joined
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    02 Jul '08 11:10
    "...why does there continue to be Christian apologetics online at all?"

    Good question. I have never been asked by any of the posters in this forum about the "hope" that is in me. I don't think they are even aware of it. It appears that they have already made up their minds about the existence of God and His son Jesus Christ.

    Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

    This is our commission. "To make all men see..."

    2Co 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

    Ga 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

    This is why we're here.
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    03 Jul '08 19:45
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]"...why does there continue to be Christian apologetics online at all?"

    Good question. I have never been asked by any of the posters in this forum about the "hope" that is in me. I don't think they are even aware of it. It appears that they have already made up their minds about the existence of God and His son Jesus Christ.

    Eph 3:9 And to mak ...[text shortened]... if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

    This is why we're here.[/b]
    what ever happened to that post where you god told you to tell all atheists to stop posting?
  5. Joined
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    03 Jul '08 21:14
    Originally posted by EcstremeVenom
    what ever happened to that post where you god told you to tell all atheists to stop posting?
    What happened to your sense of humor? It was a joke! 😉
  6. Illinois
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    07 Jul '08 08:271 edit
    Originally posted by jaywill
    We have talked about this and I think that there are many valuable things which I and other brothers in Christ could learn from your fellowship.

    I don't know if I am an online apologist or not. I am a Christian concerned with the Great Commission.

    I only consider that you would not assume a few things:

    1.) I would not assume that we are al nally holier than those who have not yet been called out and sanctified unto Christ.
    Your post has served to strengthen my point that face-to-face contact is essential for spreading the Gospel. Paul didn't preach at people from a thousand miles away, behind a mask. He lived his righteous life right there among the skeptics and non-believers, and preached daily to any who were drawn to his integrity and the peculiar hope that illumined his walk. This and the demonstration of the "Kingdom At Hand" through his mighty works of faith are what brought them to their knees. Apart from a demonstration of your faithful righteousness and a personal contact with the faith of Christ alive within you, I don't believe words amount to much no matter how pious or well-intentioned. The notion that it in some way may strikes me as nothing more than a pipe-dream.
  7. Illinois
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    07 Jul '08 09:12
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]"...why does there continue to be Christian apologetics online at all?"

    Good question. I have never been asked by any of the posters in this forum about the "hope" that is in me. I don't think they are even aware of it. It appears that they have already made up their minds about the existence of God and His son Jesus Christ.

    Eph 3:9 And to mak ...[text shortened]... if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

    This is why we're here.[/b]
    This is why we're here.

    I understand why you are here. But my question remains, "are online apologetics effective?"

    First of all, you are unable to establish a relationship of trust with anyone here. It is not unlike trying to witness to someone at a party where everyone, including yourself, is forced to wear a mask. Secondly, it is impossible to establish your faithful righteousness in anonymity. For all anyone knows you and I are both despicable and unworthy people. Why should anyone take our word for it that we are even remotely respectable? Simply because we say we believe in Jesus Christ offers no assurances. Thirdly, without the presence of Christ's living faith within us at the disposal of those we witness to, i.e., without face-to-face contact, there can be no demonstration of God's Kingdom at hand. And, as we both know, only the power of God can bring people to a saving faith.

    But, if you are left with only words, which is all you are left with online, all you can discover is that you really have nothing more than infernally compounded argumentation. And all more argumentation can bring you and others to is the conclusion that faith cannot be won by reason alone. Yes, "faith cometh by hearing the word of God," but undoubtedly Paul had in mind the physical presence of Christian preachers living in the midst of unbelievers (the entire conduct of their lives on display for all to see) and the word of God audible for all to hear who have ears to hear:

    "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"" (Romans 10:14-15).
  8. Cape Town
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    07 Jul '08 09:47
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    Your post has served to strengthen my point that face-to-face contact is essential for spreading the Gospel. Paul didn't preach at people from a thousand miles away, behind a mask. He lived his righteous life right there among the skeptics and non-believers, and preached daily to any who were drawn to his integrity and the peculiar hope that illumined his walk.
    So us atheists should not bother reading the Bible because without face-to-face contact with Paul, his letters etc are a waste of time. In fact, why did he write those letters if he insisted on face-to-face preaching?
  9. Joined
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    07 Jul '08 14:051 edit
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    Your post has served to strengthen my point that face-to-face contact is essential for spreading the Gospel. Paul didn't preach at people from a thousand miles away, behind a mask. He lived his righteous life right there among the skeptics and non-believers, and preached daily to any who were drawn to his integrity and the peculiar hope that illumined ed. The notion that it in some way may strikes me as nothing more than a pipe-dream.
    But you are writing to me and we are not face to face. And we have Paul's letters which have been nourishing our faith and furthering the gospel for two thousand years.

    I think it would be an extreme to take a position that the printed word of teaching or of the Gospel has absolutely no place in the spread of the good news.

    Do you also object to gospel tracts because they are not face to face? Besides one plants and another waters. But God gives the growth.

    A tract can plant. A latter face to face talk can water. And the other way around has been successful also.

    Anyway, I still think there is much valuable insight to what you fellowship with me.
  10. Standard memberRajk999
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    07 Jul '08 14:40
    Originally posted by jaywill
    But you are writing to me and we are not face to face. And we have Paul's letters which have been nourishing our faith and furthering the gospel for two thousand years.

    I think it would be an extreme to take a position that the printed word of teaching or of the Gospel has absolutely no place in the spread of the good news.

    Do you also object to go ...[text shortened]... also.

    Anyway, I still think there is much valuable insight to what you fellowship with me.
    Did you read Twhitehead's post before writing yours?
  11. Joined
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    07 Jul '08 14:46
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Did you read Twhitehead's post before writing yours?
    No. I think I browsed it afterwards. Why?
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    07 Jul '08 14:52
    The Apostle John expressed a desire to talk face to face with someone he was writing:

    " Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to [do so] with pen and ink, But I am hoping to speak face to face that our joy may be made full." (2 John12)

    To speak face to face with the Apostle John must have been an experience to remember.

    He was full of Christ.
  13. Standard memberRajk999
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    07 Jul '08 15:24
    Originally posted by jaywill
    No. I think I browsed it afterwards. Why?
    Its just that your first sentence and his makes the same point.
  14. Joined
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    07 Jul '08 15:381 edit
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Its just that your first sentence and his makes the same point.
    oh.
  15. Illinois
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    07 Jul '08 21:07
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So us atheists should not bother reading the Bible because without face-to-face contact with Paul, his letters etc are a waste of time. In fact, why did he write those letters if he insisted on face-to-face preaching?
    So us atheists should not bother reading the Bible...

    What good would it do for you, a self-described atheist, to read the Bible? Seriously. None. Its contents are spiritually discerned, that is, you'd need a "secret decoder ring" (as this has been irreverently referred to) in order not to misunderstand the Bible's true profundity. The fact that you deny the need for a "decoder ring" in the first place is proof that the Bible alone wouldn't do you any good.

    ...why did he write those letters if he insisted on face-to-face preaching?

    Paul's letters aren't addressed to "the unbelievers at Corinth..." or the "skeptics at Galatia..." Paul's letters are all addressed to Christian believers of one level of maturity in Christ or another, not unbelievers. The responsibility of representing Christ and preaching the Gospel to the unbelievers, in either Corinth or Galatia, fell to those believers who actually lived there. Paul's job was to lead by example and build up and encourage those who already believe in Christ. Thus, his letters to the churches...
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