Many times a day, I am confronted with the prejudgment that I am just an “intellectual.” If that is not the case, then people can’t really see the sense in apologetics.
However, this prejudgment is not true; and I am, along with biblical Christianity, wary of intellectualism—I don’t put my trust in it. I agree that no one can be argued into the Kingdom. However, we Christians hold the keys to the Kingdom (Matt. 16:19), and I am not willing to put myself in the position of judging who is worthy to receive the Gospel or who should be turned away (Rom 10:5-13)…. that would be equivalent to the leaven of the Pharisees who shut up the kingdom in people’s faces (Matt. 16:5-12; Matt. 23:13). Our duty is to present the gospel, and we must do it while crossing all cultural and social barriers or borders. We must present the gospel in the language of those who do not yet believe, so that they can hear the Gospel call. We must be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us, and we must do this while being wise as serpents and harmless as doves, having our speech always seasoned with grace and not relying on the wisdom of men but the power of God (Matt. 10:16; 1 Cor. 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:15). It is the Spirit who draws and convinces, yet we are charged to proclaim the Word (John 16:8; 2 Tim. 4:2; Rom. 10:17). Furthermore, Paul had great success in bringing people to faith who were resistant, when he reasoned with them from the Scriptures (Acts 17:2).
These things being said, do you realize that the “intellectually resistant” are a people group? They are; and I am called by the Lord to minister to them, having been among them once. They have their own lingo, their own cultures, there own norms, their own agendas. Eph. 4:17-19, Rom. 1:19-32, 2 Cor. 3:14, and 2 Cor. 4:4 are a few passages which show the reader that the mind is what our Adversary attacks with blinding lies and confusion, so that people who might trust the glorious light of the gospel remain in darkness. In fact, not all but some of the intellectually resistant are in that people group because organized Christianity has abused them in one way or many ways. Consequently, they have adopted the lies and confusion that the enemy has put in front of them. Or, church leaders and Christians have rejected them; and so they began building their case against Christians/Christianity. Others may be those who have been deceived by false teachers, exploited by cults or by duped by cunning philosophies and endless questions. Or, still, when they came to Christians or churches for answers to the tough questions they had, the Church reprimanded them for asking or could not give them a gracious and wise answer from the Scriptures to refute “so-called science.” Was Timothy not charged by Paul to be ready to refute the gain-sayers (Titus 1:9), and did Jude not charge us to contend for the faith (Jude 3)?
Now, we are light, and no man hides a light under a basket, but brings it forward so that the whole room can be lit. Since the intellectually resistant are among us, should we neglect them? Just because they (as a stereotype) may wear dress shirts and ties or be “privileged” in life or attend Princeton or Yale or UC Berkeley, should we think they are less loved by the Savior? Let us be truly generous and do all we can to answer their hang-ups and plant seeds of the Gospel like we do with all the rest of the “downtrodden” and the “outcasts.”
Why Apologetics? Because the “intellectually resistant” are a people group among us, and because we are charged with the ministry of reconciliation. We are to become all things to all men that by all means we may save some. Let us learn their language, their lingo, and the hurdles which the enemy has thrown into their minds. And, let’s give the gospel with reason. The simple answer is: “I do this for the Gospel’s sake.” And, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto Salvation….”
In my seeking to reach this people group, will you extend me your right hand of fellowship, and will you help me and not judge me? I am the Servant of the Lord who is on this mission from the Lord. Each of us are called to reach who we can reach (1 Cor. 2:15-16; 7:17-24; Romans 14:4). I am what I am by the grace of God; and I am as you are in the world, because we are as Christ was (John 17:18; 1 John 4:17). “I am set for the defense of the Gospel” (Philippians 1:17).