I recently wrote a post on the four Rs of good apologetics. I decided that I would follow this up with a post on the four Cs of good apologetics. Here they are:
Are you the same person when you are discussing apologetics as your are when you are by yourself or when you are with your family? Are you a person of integrity? There are too many stories of Christian leaders that experience a moral fall. We usually hear about the pastors but it happens on all levels. While arguments for the truth of Christianity do not become less accurate if we have a bad character, they become less convincing to skeptics and seekers. What are we doing to build up our character?
When people desire to become better apologists, they often study philosophy, theology or biblical studies. But what about communications? How we communicate is as important as what we communicate. This does not mean that you have to take a course in communications (although this is not a bad idea). But it does mean that we should take the way we communicate seriously, whether it is in our speaking or writing ministry. Read Acts 17 for examples of how Paul adapts his communication according to his audience. This leads nicely into our third C.
What are we doing to develop our skills for apologetics? We should dedicate ourselves to being a lifelong learner. Stephen Covey tells a great story about a lumberjack who wouldn’t take the time to sharpen his saw and thus was far less effective than he could have been. What are we doing to sharpen our saw? What books are we reading? Have you considered taking a course or getting another degree? Do you have more knowledge and skills today than you did a year ago?
The mandate for the Christian church is the Great Commission as found in Matthew 28:19-20. I see in the Great Commission the call to both evangelize and disciple. The wonderful thing about apologetics is that it can do both. Apologetics is effective in removing barriers to belief but it is also helpful in helping Christians grow in their in confidence in the faith. Our apologetics activity should be constantly held up to the measure of the Great Commission.