Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sean McDowell on Jesus the Apologist

"Jesus was an apologist.  He used logical reasoning to respond to criticism (e.g., Matthew 22:23-32) and he put forth various lines of evidence to demonstrate that he was the Messiah.  Along with loving people, healing people, and proclaiming the kingdom of God, Jesus thought it was important to defend the truth of the Scriptures and to provide positive evidence in support of his worldview.

His goal was not simply to win arguments for their own sake.  Rather, his greater goal was to see people follow him and to experience eternal life (John 17:1-5).  And yet to accomplish this end, Jesus utilized apologetics as one important tool.

Jesus had a unique approach to apologetics, notes the late philosopher Dallas Willard: 'Jesus' aim in utilizing logic is not to win battles, but to achieve understanding or insight in his hearers...He presents matters in such a way that those who wish to know can find their way to, can come to, the appropriate conclusion as something they have discovered-whether or not it is something they particularly care for.'"1

For an example of Jesus the apologist in action, see here.

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Sean McDowell, A New Kind of Apologist, p. 19-20.

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