Contemporary Apologetics and the Christian Faith Part II: Christian Apologetics and the Divine Solution -- By: John C. Whitcomb, Jr.

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 134:535 (Jul 1977)
Article: Contemporary Apologetics and the Christian Faith Part II: Christian Apologetics and the Divine Solution
Author: John C. Whitcomb, Jr.


Contemporary Apologetics and the Christian Faith
Part II:
Christian Apologetics and the Divine Solution

John C. Whitcomb, Jr.

[John C. Whitcomb, Jr., Director of Postgraduate Studies, Professor of Theology and Old Testament, Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Indiana.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of four articles delivered by the author as the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary, February 8–11, 1977.]

Human Impossibilities

If the biblical picture of man’s enmity against God and control by Satan is correct, then how can Christians ever persuade men to turn from sin and Satan to the true and living God? The biblical answer, of course, is that they cannot. The Scriptures do not say that it is difficult for the unbeliever to accept spiritual truth. They say that it is impossible. “A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them [καὶ οὐ δύναται γνῶναι], because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Cor 2:14). When Christ once made a similar pronouncement concerning an entire segment of society, His disciples “were very astonished and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’“ His answer provides the key to all truly effective Christian apologetics today: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26).

It seems quite obvious, then, that God never intended that Christians should win the lost through purely philosophical and academic arguments or even that they should by this means remove the mental/spiritual obstacles within unbelievers so that the Word of God might penetrate their hearts.1 If this had been His plan, the

vast majority of Christians would have been automatically disqualified from effective witness, for they would not be able to meet highly educated unbelievers on their own level in intellectual debate. “For consider your call, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…that no man should boast before God” (1 Cor 1:26–27, 29).

The Biblical Method

The biblical method of winning men to Christ (including present-day intellectuals) is to present the true gospel lovingly, patiently, and prayerfully “accord...

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