some thoughts on apologetics

A few years ago I was so convinced that I would like to be an apologist like Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell etc.

It was during those times that I have misguidedly 'defended the faith' from people who are not attacking it, in effect turning-off more people, from God and Christianity more than effectively bearing witness to the gospel.

But as I grew older I came to refrain from associating with apologetics, and the statement below from the American theologian Frederick Buechner gives a very accurate description of the reason why I am now not so much into apologetics:

"C.S. Lewis once said something to the effect that no Christian doctrine ever looked so threadbare to him as when he had just finished successfully defending it. The reason is not hard to find.

In order to defend the faith successfully - which is the business of apologists - they need to reduce it to a defendable size. It is easier to hold a fortress against the enemy than to hold a landscape. They try to make each doctrine as it comes along sound as logical and plausible as they can. The trouble, of course, is that by and large apologists are apt to end up proclaiming a faith that may be quite persuasive on paper but is difficult to imagine either them or anyone else getting very excited about.

The other danger is that apologists put so much effort into what they do that they may end up not so much defending the faith because they believe it is true but believing the faith is true because they have worked so hard and long to defend it."

- Frederick Buechner
Whistling in the dark
An ABC Theologized

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