Constant Disappointment

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?

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3 Responses to Constant Disappointment

  1. micey says:

    why indeed… i was just saying to one of my friends today, a Christian, i really don’t trust anybody anymore, except Christ… even people with the best intentions, myself included, can’t be trusted… I’m trying to become more quiet as time goes by… i’m trying to figure out how to be in the world, but not of the world… i’m grateful that the Lord made me a loner all my life, with few friends… it has made being a Christian easier, in the sense I can separate myself to a degree from the world… now if i could just figure out how to serve Him in this capacity… the world makes me tired… and sad… anyway, this is a great post…

  2. Berny says:

    There are a lot of apologists out there doing some great work. Tim Keller’s The Reason for God is a recent example that comes to mind. Although it’s geared towards a popular audience, Keller employs the presuppositionalist approach with success.

    He’s a Calvinist, mind you. But what do you find wrong about Calvinism?

    Look for a review of the book on my blog soon.

  3. I know that there are good apologists out there, I just seem to have trouble finding an apologist or theologian who doesn’t disappoint in some way. I recently discovered John Warwick Montgomery and am enjoying his History and Christianity. Like I said, Ravi Zacharias is a pleasant exception to the disappointment and I really appreciate his work. I’ll have to look up Tim Keller.

    As for Calvinism, that may be a topic best left for another day (althought I have written a series on the doctrine of eternal security you can find under the Theology tag on the right side of this page). We at Minds2Mentes and Acts 20:24 Ministries don’t fall into either the Calvinist or Arminian camps, but are somewhere in between.

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