Friday, I shared the picture to the left on Facebook. I like it because it’s nice and snarky. I’ll admit I shared it to get a rise out of people. And, it worked. Within a few minutes, a friend of mine said ” I really don’t think its appropriate to refer to Jesus Christ as a hippie freak”. A few others were also concerned about this, one comment said “I’d hate to say that to Jesus’ face”. All of which brought up thoughts I’ve had about the idea of apologetics. Which, according to Merriam-Webster, is a “systematic argumentative discourse in defense”. More to the point, apologetics is “a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity”. In some evangelical circles, apologetics are the shit. Rachel Held Evans, author of Evolving in Monkey Town, said that apologetics was a required course at the schools she attended. There are authors who write nothing but apologetics; people Gordon Clark, Gary Bahnsen and Ray Comfort. Hell, even C. S. Lewis is considered a Christian apologist. Even so, I’m not a big fan of the discipline.
I don’t care for it for a couple of reasons. One, you’re trying to explain the unexplainable. In Isaiah 55:8-9, God says
” For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”
Trying to prove the existence of God with mere words is an exercise in futility. It’s like expecting an infant to explain who their mother is; they know, but they don’t have the necessary vocabulary. The difference is, there is no vocabulary to explain God. The second reason I don’t care for apologetics is that it’s arrogant. It assumes that God actually needs us to defend Him. Now, I don’t know about you, but a god I have to defend doesn’t seem to be worth my time. Same goes for a god who gets pissed off about a picture or a smart remark. Basically, this attitude assumes that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. Take a look around and tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor. If He didn’t, He’d have wiped us off the face of the earth a long time ago. Either that or thrown up His hands and walked away. While I can’t disprove the latter, I don’t think He has; that’s not His style.
Right about now, I suspect you’re thinking if I can’t argue the existence of God, what am I supposed to do when people question my faith? The answer is simple: be Jesus. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, visit the prisoner. You will never convince anyone of the validity of Christianity with appeals to reason because Christianity is utterly unreasonable. It requires its followers to put others ahead of themselves even when doing so is dangerous. It requires its followers to give up everything and rely on an unseen entity to provide for them. And, it requires its followers to do all of this without any proof whatsoever. Who in their right mind would join any such group? But, if you’re out there feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and all that other stuff, people just might think you know what the hell you’re doing and start helping you fix this broken, fucked up world. Which is really the point of the whole thing.