Show & Tell
David Shaw introduces us to the latest issue of our theological resource, Primer. Launched at our Leaders’ Conference in November, it explores the topic of apologetics.
Let’s face it, the topic of apologetics can be theological Marmite.
Some people love the thought of engaging with culture and thinking how best to ‘tear down strongholds’ or ‘subversively fulfil’ the latest trends. Others find apologetics intimidating, or suspect that it distracts from actually getting on with evangelism and betrays a lack of confidence in God’s sufficient word.
In light of these questions, Primer 07 starts with Scripture, as Dan Strange asks what the Bible says about fallen human beings and how that should set the agenda for our evangelistic questions and methods.
Next, Matt Peckham is our guide to several recent books on apologetics that help us explore everyday evangelism and ask good questions.
For our regular historical extract we have an excerpt from Blaise Pascal’s Pensées – a published scrapbook of his thoughts on reason, miracles, happiness, and the centrality of Jesus to anything we have to say. Bill Edgar comes alongside to introduce them and reflect with us on their significance.
All three of these articles reject the idea that apologetics is some lofty and intellectualised pursuit, and the rest of Primer 07 is designed to reinforce that:
- Jonathan Leeman’s article is a vital piece of the puzzle because it draws the church into the conversation. Jesus spoke about the way our love for one another makes the gospel visible – and yet this is regularly overlooked in discussions around apologetics. In truth, our task is to show and tell the gospel.
- Gavin McGrath discusses apologetics and preaching, arguing that Scripture itself is engaged in apologetics, seeking to persuade us and subvert our assumptions about the world. This is so helpful when we often hear expository preaching played off against apologetics.
- Finally, to really bring the theme home, we have interviewed a number of churches about how they are engaging apologetically with their communities – what are the questions they face, how have they learnt to answer them, and how are they living out the gospel in compelling ways?
As usual, you can find Primer for sale on The Good Book Company website.