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Christian Apologetics and Explanation

January 21, 2010

You can only explain so much. In the early church there was much explaining to do. A lot of false information came out about the Christian faith. They are cannibals because they eat the body and the blood of their leader. They practice incest because they call everyone brother and sister.

In a heavily religious world filled with multiple pagan gods the Christian faith had a lot of explaining to do. So the church began explaining what the Christian faith was all about. That is understandable but again it was a religious world.

Jump ahead two thousand years and explaining only goes so far. I can explain the Christian faith and why we do what we do but no amount of explaining can prove there is a God. An explanation that works for you may not work for someone else. An airtight explanation for you is always one step away from rejection and a counter explanation from someone who doesn’t believe.

What people are looking for is proof and yet all we have is explanation. Proof requires evidence and that means something like eyewitness reports or fingerprint and DNA samples. Something concrete that needs little explanation.

No wonder Jesus said that blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (John 20:29). Why do I think this matters? Because I think we spend time trying to explain, trying to develop airtight reason, when no amount will do. If someone doesn’t want to believe it is impossible to get them to believe. Belief takes faith and faith takes believing in something that is unseen.

As Christians we add our name to a long list of people who believed in something that can never totally satisfactorily be explained. Why does that bother us so much? Why would we find it embarrassing?

In reality this fact governs all of our lives, believers and those that don’t, but guess what, that explanation won’t satisfy anyone who doesn’t want to believe.

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