Ok, I’m about to get up on a digital soapbox. As a Baptist, I adamantly and unashamedly place my authority in the written word of God which bears witness to the incarnate Word of God. In my sermons, in my theological presuppositions, and in my daily life, I believe that the Bible is authoritative. Period. So it does my heart good when my brothers and sisters clap and shout “Amen!” when a preacher makes the comment “We just need to get back in the Word” or when a friend asks “How much have you been in the Word?”
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Neil T. Anderson in The Bondage Breaker has argued that the default Western worldview assumes a two tier system with an almost platonic flavor to it. The upper level, or the realm of spirit beings and the supernatural, is comprehended through religion. The lower level, or the realm of material and the physical, is known through science and the empirical senses. In the Western mindset—no doubt a result of naturalism and an influence of Kantian thought—these two have little to do with one another. On this view, spirit beings exist on a different plane and do not interact with us in the here and now, at least not in any meaningful way.
There are two harmful tendencies that I think characterize many of our conversations with our lost family members. The first is our tendency to trivialize our doctrinal convictions. Very often it is easy to withhold discussion of our beliefs, especially those related to the doctrine of sin, from our conversations for the sake of maintaining the status quo. When we “reveal our cards” by explaining our beliefs about the wickedness of men—and, by extension, our own wickedness—there can be a personal backlash.
My faithful friend Pastor Derek Barnett, lead church planter and pastor at Great Exchange Church in Boulder, CO, asked me to write a guest blog post a few months back on a topic of my choice. Based on the reports that I've heard about the very hard spiritual soil in Colorado at large, I sent him some material on "Incorporating Apologetics into Your Preaching." You may not be a preacher, but for anyone who is involved in leading small groups, Sunday School classes, or other teaching functions in the church, you may find it a helpful read. I'd invite you to check out the post and check out what Derek's team is about to do in Colorado.