I just spoke to my friend, Dena Jackson, who’s out of town at an exciting event: Biola University’s Apologetics Summer Residency. At the opening banquet, she and others in the distance-learning program were encouraged with words that apply to each of us involved in teaching accessible apologetics in our local area: “You are doing something that matters…Christians are walking around with questions and somebody needs to answer them.”
When I asked her to share the top five lessons she’s learned, she replied:
It’s hard to boil down a week of interacting with some of the kindest and most intellectually gifted people I have met to just five things that I learned, but here’s my shot at it…
5. If I get mad, I lose. If they get mad, I lose. Greg Koukl shared this in a lecture on engaging people in apologetic conversations. What a great reminder! Thinking back to the times that my conversations have been heated, I couldn’t help but agree. Everything must be done with gentleness and respect (1 Pet 3:15). We can’t stop being Christ-like in order to win someone to Him.
4. Jesus is God. Ok, I did know this before last week. But I learned a helpful way to show it. John 1:3 says:
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Draw a box and divide it in half. Label one half “uncreated” and the other “created.” Where would you put Jesus? Pretty much everyone that denies Jesus’ divinity believes he was a created being so they would put Jesus in the “created” half. But John 1:3 says that without Jesus nothing was made that has been made. That means Jesus created everything in the “created” half. If we placed Jesus in the “created” half then that would mean Jesus created himself. But that’s bizarre! Jesus must belong in the uncreated category. God alone is eternal. And John 1:3 teaches Jesus is God.
[Mikel] Tell you what. Let’s chew on these two before checking out her top three. How might you practically use these ideas? How could you creatively teach these to another believer? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of Dena’s list!