I had a thought after my previous post, The Gospel’s Argument. In it I explained that true apologists are concerned with spreading the gospel and that I’ve noticed that major apologetic arguments have a relation to gospel claims. What I noticed is that my blog seems to imply that if you present the arguments just right that people will believe in Jesus Christ. I believe we should be as persuasive as we can and give people all the information as accurately as we possibly can. However, Scripture doesn’t say it work’s like that.
If you present the arguments just right, people will believe in Jesus Christ?
To illustrate I once heard Greg Bahnsen tell a story of a man who was getting help because he thought he was dead. The man’s counselor tried everything to convince him that he was not, indeed, dead. Nothing worked. After weeks of trying, the counselor had become frustrated and tired of trying. Then he decided to get scientific. He asked the man if dead men bleed. After a moment of thought, the man said “No.” Dead men don’t bleed because their heart has stopped and thus no blood flowing through his veins. With some smugness, the counselor grabbed the man’s hand and pricked his finger with a needle. Sure enough, a bubble of blood flowed from the tiny wound. “See! There! Proof! You’re not dead!” The counselor triumphantly cried. The man who thought he was dead looked at the counselor. Then he looked at the blood. Then back at the counselor and said, “Lo and behold, dead men do bleed!”
You never know what they are willing to give up to maintain their worldview.
Arguments do not always work because you never know what a person is willing to give up to maintain their worldview. Most people really like what they believe. After all, they have spent a lifetime working to develop it. And some people, even in the face of undeniable evidence, will refuse to believe what is plain.
The Gospel arguments I want to cover make a cumulative case. They explain that there is objective reason and evidence that Jesus Christ is who he claimed to be. When presented well they are persuasive but we should not think that presenting these arguments are a sure way to make Christians.
Arguments for the gospel make a cumulative case.
So, how does one become a Christian? The only way someone becomes a Christian through the working of the Holy Spirit in their heart as He illuminates God’s Word in relation to God’s world. They come to see that there is a God and we have fallen short of His purposes for our lives. And that means we need a substitute. Jesus Christ stood in our place to take our punishment and give us His right standing before God.
Sometimes this can be a long process because, like we said earlier, people like their worldview and are often slow to change. This is where apologetics, arguments and evidence, comes in. Helping people make the connection between what is in God’s Word with what is in God’s world. If we live in a caring relationship with the people we share the gospel with, you never know how God is going to use your efforts to persuade them.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Apologist