Summary: Being ready to give a defense for the reasons we believe, also be prepared to ask the right questions.
questions they need us to ask
June 26, 2011
2 Cor 10:4-5
During a televised presidential campaign debate in 1984, Henry Trewhitt of The Baltimore Sun posed his question to Ronald Reagan: "You already are the oldest president in history, and some of your staff say you were tired after your most recent encounter with Mr. Mondale. I recall that President Kennedy had to go for days on end with very little sleep during the Cuba missile crisis. Is there any doubt in your mind that you would be able to function in such circumstances?" Finally someone had asked him the question. It was on everyone's mind--and being discussed all over the media--but nobody had asked it directly of Reagan himself. At age seventy-three, was he indeed too old, or becoming too unfocused, to effectively lead the nation for a second term? For a split second it seemed the whole country held its breath, waiting to see how President Reagan would respond. "Not at all," Reagan began. "And I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience!"146 (emphasis mine).
Mittelberg, Mark (2010). The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask (pp. 289-290). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Being ready to give a defense for the reasons we believe, also be prepared to ask the right questions.
The Bible tells to be ready to give a good answer to anyone who asks for the reason for the hope we have in Christ (see 1 Pet. 3:15).
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
But the New Testament also challenges us to get on the offense.
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Ill: Aqaba in 1917 seemed impregnable. Any enemy vessel approaching the port would have to face the battery of huge naval guns above the town. Behind Aqaba in every direction lay barren, waterless, inhospitable desert. To the east lay the deadly "anvil of the sun." The Turks believed Aqaba to be safe from any attack. But they were wrong.
Lawrence of Arabia led a force of irregular Arab cavalry across the "anvil of the sun." Together, they rallied support among the local people. On July 6, 1917, the Arab forces swept into Aqaba from the north, from the blind side. A climactic moment of the magnificent film Lawrence of Arabia is the long, panning shot of the Arabs on their camels and horses, with Lawrence at their head, galloping past the gigantic naval guns that are completely powerless to stop them. The guns were facing in the wrong direction. Aqaba fell, and the Turkish hold on Palestine was broken, to be replaced by the British mandate and eventually by the State of Israel.
The Turks failed to defend Aqaba because they made two mistakes. They did not know their enemy, and they did not have the right weapons.
I. The Right Weapons
During Operation Desert Storm, the Iraqi war machine was overwhelmed by the Coalition Forces' ability to strike strategic targets with never-seen-before accuracy. Unknown to the Iraqis, the Allied Supreme Command had dropped Special Operations Forces (SOF) deep behind enemy lines. These men provided bombing coordinates for military targets and first-hand reports on the effectiveness of subsequent bombing missions.
To avoid unintended targets, pinpoint bombing was often required. A soldier from a SOF unit standing on the ground would request an aircraft high overhead to drop a laser-guided missile. Using a hand-held laser, the soldier would point at the target. The missile would hone in on the soldier's target for the hit.
In much the same way, the prayers of Christians focus the attention of the spiritual powers on high.
Pinpoint Prayers for those you are discussing these issues with.
B. Answers for our Hope
II. Take the Offensive (without being offensive)
A. Clear Objective
Anything that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
Every thought made obedient to Christ.
B. Counter Questions
Concerning the Existence of God
1. If there is no God how do you explain the origin of the universe? Did it pop into existence out of nothing, by nothing, and for nothing? Wouldn't that take at least as much faith as believing that God created it?
2. How do you account for the finely tuned nature of the universe if it ramdomly evolved out of chaos?