Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dayton Hartman on Pastors and Apologetics

"Apologetics may seem to fall outside the context of corporate worship, since many consider it part of personal evangelism. However, when the church gathers to worship through Word and song, this time is for the instruction and edification of the saints. We cannot expect that congregants are not influenced by our culture or that they do not battle with doubt. When the people of God gather together, they do so to have their confidence in God’s Word confirmed and strengthened. Moreover, regardless of whether we recognize it, most Christians adopt their pastor’s interpretation and application of Scripture as their own. Therefore, if we model an apologetic-free approach to the biblical text, that is what our people will practice. If pastors assume that their listeners know the foundation of a Christian truth claim, like Christ’s deity, their congregations never see those claims unpacked so that they, too, can defend them and build on them. We should not assume that our congregation is in agreement with whatever scriptural propositional claim we are addressing. Thus, in an effort to edify and build up the body of Christ, we must 'contend earnestly for the faith' (Jude 3) from the pulpit so that the pew will be a place of confidence and a place of preparation for cultural engagement."1

For more of Dayton's work, see here.

Our review of Dayton's latest book Church History for Modern Ministry is forthcoming!  You can get your copy here!

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Dayton Hartman, Church History for Modern Ministry, p. 41. 

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