Today’s Challenge is “You can’t argue someone into Heaven.” Unlike most of the challenges we discuss, this one almost exclusively comes from other Christians. Comments like this often come up when we promote a more evidential approach in the study and practice of apologetics. We are using evidence, logic, and ultimately argumentation to defend the faith and spread the Gospel of Christ.
There are a few key problems with the notion that you can’t argue people into Heaven. Namely that there are many documented examples of Christians who were convinced through reason and argument. Men you may even be familiar with like Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, J.P. Moreland and J. Warner Wallace are just a few examples to start with. Even Drew here at Tentmaking Christianity was largely brought in by evidence. Unless all of these people and more are liars, the challenge is simply false.
However, in another sense they are correct. It is not us nor, our arguments, that are doing the saving here. In all of this it is the Holy Spirit that changes hearts and minds, and we are blessed to be a part of the process. But in the same way that you can’t argue someone into Heaven, you can’t preach, teach, or love someone in either. All of these are ways in which the Holy Spirit works through us to reach people, and they are not of our own doing. So why is only apologetics being pushed out?
Yes, it takes more work to learn history and evidence than to share your testimony. But we have a good case, and a culture that assumes we don’t. Now is as good a time as any to correct that.
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