The statement “No one is argued into the Kingdom of God by Apologetics” is incorrect.
The statement misrepresents Apologetics
It redefines Apologetics as arguing.
It redefines the intent of 1 Peter 3:15 as argumentative and contentious.
It redefines as argumentative the word “logos”* (reason) from the original Greek text.
It therefore redefines reason and thinking as arguing.
It associates the negative connotations of arguing with Apologetics, reasoning and thinking.
Let’s be reasonable
We live in a rational universe that is constructed of and operates by cause & effect.
Reasons are an explanation of cause and effect.
Our thoughts are an integration of those reasons into conclusions.
Apologetics is communicating the reasons for the conclusion that there is hope in the death and resurrection of Christ.
It’s called thinking.
Nothing gets to the heart without first going through the mind.
The mind is the gatekeeper. The bouncer at the door. Nothing gets by without its approval.
Everyone is looking for reconciliation with their maker, but there is only one way to meet this universal need.
Therefore no matter who asks us to “give an answer” -each is knowingly or unknowingly looking for the reasons that will cause the gatekeeper of the heart to permanently “stand down” and allow Christ in.
Our response to their intellectual and emotional questions (if we are prepared) assist in tumbling the remaining intellectual dominoes of resistance.
A bucket with holes
It is true that no one comes to the Kingdom of God without The Holy Spirit, who prepares in advance those brought into our path by softening their hearts and minds.
But if we neglect and bustle past the softened gatekeeper and minister only to the heart we are putting Living Water in a bucket with holes.
Because when the gatekeeper gains strength and comes back around it won’t know WHY it’s true and will reject the simplicity of the heart that says THAT it’s true.
The gatekeeper will bring the doubt of unanswered questions to the heart.
And so begins the internal strife and civil war a common side effect of lop-sided evangelism. The new Christian is rendered inert, or worse, a pawn of the enemy.
Rationalizing not reasoning
Those who rationalize the abandonment of reason are missing an important component of The Great Commission. Especially critical in today’s world where 75% of Christian youth are lost because we are neglecting the role of the mind.
The first step to reversing this trend is for us to work together to pull ourselves from the vortex of the self-defeating logic that disqualifies thinking by the use of thinking itself.
More on this in my next blog… “Why The Same Intellectual Precision Critical for Putting a Man on the Moon is Also Critical for Apologetics”
* logos λόγος log’-os
something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension a computation; –Strong’s Concordance
BUT IN YOUR HEARTS REVERE CHRIST AS LORD. ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERYONE WHO ASKS YOU TO GIVE THE REASON [logos] FOR THE HOPE THAT YOU HAVE. BUT DO THIS WITH GENTLENESS AND RESPECT.
1 PETER 3:15 (Italics mine)
JESUS REPLIED: “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL OF YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL OF YOUR MIND.'”
MATTHEW 22:37 (Italics mine)