We need a cough drop here, amen. Why are Christians losing their voice in the public squares? Notice I did not insist airwaves, blogs, or seminaries. It would seem that the scholars are doing it right. Preaching, teaching, learning, reading, combatting...but what about Jack and Jane? Too often I don't think. I exist. I'm good at day to days. While all around me, important questions are being raised and I either get hyper-Calvinistic or deterministic. TV shows too demeaning? Brush it off as liberal media. People swearing and maligning? Forget about it. Family members or friends stuck in misconstrued worldviews? It's their choice. This is how to interact, if you have no regard for the name of Christ. Enter my Christian Philosophy class, Dr. Bruce Little presiding. I am learning to think, with information. Learning how to understand the basic argument and how to refute it. Learning the power of the gospel and how to work it into each and every life I come in contact with. This reminds me of a time...(hear the wavey flashback music crescendoing in)
Once in downtown Athens, Luke Newton and I were parousing some dusty old shop, looking for souvenirs. As we started to leave, a Greek man came up to us and asked why we were there. I told him we were doing a "Footsteps of Paul" tour through Turkey and Greece. He introduced himself as "Constantine." This began one of the most memorable nights of my life. Constantine was not a fan, to say the least, of Jesus. When he learned we were Christians, he promptly pulled out a Bible, and began to flip through it, showing us all the "contradictions" of the New Testament. Luke and I, and a man that looked like Chris Tomlin (also on the tour), whose name escapes me at the moment, vigorously refuted arguments, and defended Christ. After 45 minutes or so the Holy Spirit adrenalin began to subside and we bid our adieus and began to leave. At this point, another one of my friends who had said nothing the whole time, turns to Constantine and says, "We preach Jesus Christ crucified by the power of the Holy Spirit!" Or something along those lines. I turned to myself and exhaled a quandary, "What did that accomplish?" The more I think about it, the more I don't blame my friend. But I do. He is now doing great things for Jesus, I'm sure. At this point I did want to shake and bake him a little. Do we preach Jesus? Yes! To whom? Everyone! That is not the issue. The issue is that there is a time and a place to discuss Jesus, and react to unbelievers' questions about the Way. There are questions that if answered could move someone closer to an understanding of Christ. That is why we argue and refute; we exalt the name of Christ. Just like Paul. Just like Paul. And we were in Athens! We were probably 5 block from Mars' Hill! You know, where Paul debated with the Philosophers of Athens and won some of them to Christ. Time and a place. So where do you and I come in? We learn Christ, in and out. We learn how to think logically next. We then learn what our world is thinking, and understand that ideas have consequences. Then we make ourselves readily available to talk with unbelievers. It's really that simple. By doing so, we win the square. Just like 4 square...which is in the shape of a cross. Long post.