I am constantly being disappointed by theologians and apologists, and sometimes I don’t know what to make of this. When I read someone, I am not only interested in what they are saying in the particular instance I have come across, but also (sometimes even more importantly) what they believe as a whole theologically and philosophically, and how they lived their life.
As far as apologetics are concerned, I have read enough that I am always looking for the holes in the arguments. As an apologist I want to present a sealed-tight argument. To do this I need to examine every angle of an argument, whether my own or someone else’s, to see what the person I am talking to will find wrong with it. I have found that there is far too much bad apologetics out there. That or the apologist presents a good argument but doesn’t bring it all the way to its proper conclusion, and instead leaves holes and doors open. The result is the person being spoken to leaves the conversation still an unconvinced skeptic instead of the Christian they could have potentially become. The fields are ripe for harvest but the workers are few.
As for the personal beliefs of theologians and apologists, I have sometimes likewise been disappointed. Chesterton and Muggeridge became Catholics near the end of their lives. Many of the loudest voices in Evangelicalism are Calvinists. Not that these systems get absolutely everything wrong, but I can find a lot of biblical evidence against many things they profess. Recently I discovered Barclay. He has a lot of great things to say, some of which the Lord has used to speak to my heart. But I was disappointed when I looked up his biography. Turns out he was a liberal and a universalist. Drat.
The only exception to this observation has been Ravi Zacharias. Perhaps this is what I hold him and his ministry in such high esteem. I have seen blameless lifestyle, great theology and near perfect apologetic approaches in him.
Maybe I’m just a bit cynical as I am always trying to poke holes in my own arguments to make them stronger and things like that, but I really long to find more “perfect” Christians out there, people who have great theology and holy lifestyles. The Bible says that this is the ideal for the Christian, one who knows the Word and lives the Word every minute of every day. Why are they so hard to find?