About Mark McIntyre

Mark has been blogging at Attempts at Honesty since early in 2011 primarily writing to challenge and encourage the church to be all that she should be. He can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Love and apologetics

A few days ago I retweeted this:

For my friends who are involved in Christian apologetics, I would rephrase this to say that “if your apologetic doesn’t make you love people more, it’s wrong.”

Gagged ManThere are two reasons that I say this. The first reason is that love of neighbor is the second great command (Matt. 22:39) and our defense of the faith must be done in a way that fulfills this command.

The second reason can be found in the familiar verse, 1 Peter 3:15. At the end of that verse, Peter encourages us to give our defense with gentleness and respect. The word translated respect is phobos, which has the literal meaning of fear. Perhaps the idea is that we should have some fear of giving an offense. In other words, the message might be offensive, but he messenger should never be.

Most of the apologists I know (and read) seek to do their apologetics in a loving way, being courteous with those who disagree . There are a few who are rather brash and belittle the arguments of those who they oppose.

But all of us, through impatience or pride, sometimes fall short of the command to love the one with whom we disagree. If love of God and love of neighbor is not our motivation for engaging in the discussion, then we are better off remaining silent.

This post originally appeared on Attempts at Honesty Christian Blog

Dealing with Apparent Failure in Apologetics

It is my guess that just about everyone who is interested in Christian apologetics is aware of 1 Peter 3:15 in which Peter encourages believers to be ready to make a defense (apology) to everyone who asks about our hope. Yet, when we make that defense, not everyone responds to the claims of the Gospel.

Admittedly, sometimes the lack of response is because of a poor presentation on our part. When this is the case, it should spur us on to further prayer, study, and reflection so that we are better prepared the next time.

But, there are other times when the lack of response is not due to inadequate answers or a defective presentation. How then should we respond? [Read more...]

Standing in the Light – Four Considerations for Defending the Faith

interview-peter-kreeftWhile driving, I had a chance to listen to an Apologetics 315 podcast featuring an interview with Peter Kreeft. If you have not subscribed to the Apologetics 315 podcasts, I strongly suggest that you do so if you have any interest in Christian apologetics. Brian Auten does an outstanding job of interviewing apologists in a way that is informative yet avoids technical jargon.

In this particular episode, Peter said something which struck me. He was answering a question about what to do when interacting with someone who is asking questions intended to put off the apologist. In other words, what do you do when someone really isn’t interested in considering the claims of Jesus Christ. [Read more...]

At the core of doubt

DoubtIn the story of Peter walking on the water, Matthew records Jesus’ response when Peter became frightened and started to sink. Jesus said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)

This phrase has often been interpreted as a rebuke of all doubt. The understanding is that Jesus is telling Peter that it was wrong to doubt, the inference being that all doubt is wrong. When this passage is preached in this way, the implication is that we should have complete control over our thought process and that all doubt can and should be removed from our minds. I have heard some preachers say that all doubt is sin.

[Read more...]

What CSI Tells Us About Our Desire for Truth

CSII recently read a post by Jill Carattini of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. In the post she discusses the reason for the popularity of forensic criminal science dramas on television such as CSI, NCIS and Bones.

The shows center around the desire to find out what really happened to the victim and to bring the murderer to justice. The investigators are driven to solve the mystery through scientific investigation.

What is behind the popularity of these shows? [Read more...]