Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Giving Reason For The Hope I

Giving Reason For The Hope: The Possibility and Necessity of the Apologetic Task as a Ministry Within The Church And Her Mission (1 Peter 3:15)

As a new believer during my teenage days, I discovered apologetics through a booklet written by Josh McDowell. It came as a lifeline at a critical juncture in my spiritual walk as I tried to make sense of the claims of Christ in relation to other faiths, especially the Buddhist-Taoist tradition.

To be frank, I did not come to faith after arriving at satisfactory conclusions about the reliability of Scripture or thorough investigation on the historical evidences of Jesus’ resurrection. The decision to trust in Him as Lord and Savior followed the hearing of a simple gospel message, which convicted me of sins against a holy God and the need for reconciliation with Him through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

However, coming from a plausibility structure that would not take Christian claims at face value, my newfound faith launched an ongoing and often lonely intellectual struggle to understand its justifications and implications. Echoing Anselm, my pilgrimage would be more appropriately described as “faith seeking understanding”.

As time went by, I discovered other reflective people in and outside church who ask fundamental questions in life like our origin, identity, purpose and destiny. The dissatisfaction with simplistic albeit pious clich├ęs for an answer is both our blessing and our curse. I began to feel acutely the vacuum in the local church for suitably equipped ministers who address such issues with sensitivity and knowledge.

Again, I turned to the wisdom of books by Augustine, Francis Schaeffer, C.S. Lewis and others. In this paper, I seek to explore the role of apologetics in Scripture and church history in a missional context before discussing how it may be done in the Malaysian setting.


Markus said...

This September our EUSEBIA Missions Ministires will have a theological conference in Germany and I will present a paper on Christian Theology in an Islamic Context. I would like to include also some ideas from your paper, if this is allright with you. It would be text from pp. 10-12
of your paper, including the footnotes on these pages.

Below I have copied the relevant text from my speech fro you. Please be so kind to go thrugh it and tell me whether I can use it as a source for theology in the Chinese context. I think it would be very relevant and interesting for the listeners here in Germany. Of course, I would mention your paper both in footnote and bibliography as the original

What do you think?

Actually, there will be four speeches given on that day, and all speeches will be published both in German and in English ! We will produce a bilingual book of about 90 pages in order to make the articles known internationally. Of course I would send you a complimentary copy of the book when it will be published after mid-September.

The Hedonese said...

Sure bro! it wud be my pleasure and honor, please feel free to use whatever portions you find helpful :) and thanks for the book!