Tag Archives: Apologetics

“Use very hard arguments and very soft words” by Charles Spurgeon

“In all probability, sensible conversation will sometimes drift into controversy, and here many a good man runs upon a snag. The sensible minister will be particularly gentle in argument. He, above all men, should not make the mistake of fancying that there is force in temper, and power in speaking angrily.

A heathen who stood in a crowd in Calcutta, listening to a missionary disputing with a Brahmin, said he knew which was right though he did not understand the language—he knew that he was in the wrong who lost his temper first. For the most part, that is a very accurate way of judging.

Try to avoid debating with people. State your opinion and let them state theirs. If you see that a stick is crooked, and you want people to see how crooked it is, lay a straight rod down beside it; that will be quite enough.

But if you are drawn into controversy, use very hard arguments and very soft words. Frequently you cannot convince a man by tugging at his reason, but you can persuade him by winning his affections.

The other day I had the misery to need a pair of new boots, and though I bade the fellow make them as large as canoes, I had to labour fearfully to get them on. With a pair of boot-hooks I toiled like the men on board the vessel with Jonah, but all in vain.

Just then my friend put in my way a little French chalk, and the work was done in a moment. Wonderfully coaxing was that French chalk.

Gentlemen, always carry a little French chalk with you into society, a neat packet of Christian persuasiveness, and you will soon discover the virtues of it.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students: A Selection from Addresses Delivered to the Students of the Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1875/2008), 201-202.

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“The battle is His” by K. Scott Oliphant

“Since Christ is Lord, and the battle is His, we must always be ready to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. We must use the weapons, not of this world, but of the Lord. We must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ as we demolish the arguments, with gentleness and reverence, of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, exchanging the truth of God for a lie, worshiping created things, rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

–K. Scott Oliphant, The Battle Belongs to the Lord (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2003), 5.

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“The entire Bible is an apologetic” by K. Scott Oliphant

“In one sense, the entire Bible is an apologetic. It is given as God’s word. It comes to us as truth to tell us who God is and what he requires of us. Most of it comes into a ‘hostile’ environment, an environment flooded with the effects of sin and rebellion. But because it comes as truth to a hostile world, it challenges the worldviews and opinions of those who would want to oppose its truth. When the Bible begins with ‘In the beginning, God…,’ it is immediately giving us the most foundational of truths, but it is also confronting any view that seeks to deny this God.”

–K. Scott Oliphant, The Battle Belongs to the Lord (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2003), 4.

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“The Savior from the sin of autonomy” by Cornelius Van Til

“Dear Dr. Howe:

You are certainly right in saying that I did not, in the discussion among Mr. White, Mr. Grey, and Mr. Black, make any sharp distinction between witnessing to and defending the Christian faith. I am not convinced by the evidence from Scripture which you cite that any sharp distinction between them is required or even justified.

My defense of the truth of Christianity is, as I think of it, always, at the same time, a witness to Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We do not really witness to Christ adequately unless we set forth the significance of His person and work for all men and for the whole of their culture. But if we witness to Him thus then men are bound to respond to Him either in belief or disbelief.

If they respond in disbelief they will do so by setting forth as truth some ‘system of reality’ that is based on the presupposition of man as autonomous. I must then plead with them to accept Christ as their Savior from the sin of autonomy, and therewith, at the same time, to discover that they have been given, in Christ, the only foundation for intelligent predication.

—C. V. T.”

–Cornelius Van Til, in Jerusalem and Athens: Critical Discussions on the Philosophy and Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til, Ed. E. R. Geehan, (Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1977), 452.

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“Objections spring from rebellion” by Søren Kierkegaard

“People try to persuade us that the objections against Christianity spring from doubt. The objections against Christianity spring from insubordination, the dislike of obedience, rebellion against all authority. As a result people have hitherto been beating the air in the struggle against objections, because they have fought intellectually with doubt instead of fighting morally with rebellion.”

–Søren Kierkegaard, Works of Love, trans. by Howard and Edna Hong (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), 11.

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