Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Debating as a Christian Duty

Here Doug Wilson ably, biblically, and persuasively argues that debating is a Christian duty. Well, if the man Jesus is to be the believer's model, of course he's right. And of course it can be done in the wrong spirit, too. Wilson also addresses that nicely.

I fear the main reason Christians and Christian leaders (who are called to it) shrink from this duty is cowardice, plain and simple. Cowardice is the biblical word for refusing ever "to get into it." But Jesus "got into it" all the time. Shouldn't we follow him? Or should we be the "Jesus, meek and mild flower child" of 21st century evangelicalism, rather than the real Jesus of the Bible? I mean, just read the gospels. As Wilson rightly points out.

This cowardice, this fear of man and fear of the loss of status and possessions can be cloaked under all sorts of good reasons to "just stay out of it, and be a gospel witness." But it's not really a gospel witness if doesn't imitate Jesus. And it's cowardice nonetheless, and we know where cowards go (Rev. 21:8).


Jon Sedlak said...

I think that a lack of courage is the major factor. But some pastors just don't debate well on their feet no matter how much courage they have. And they don't debate well on their feet because they've been pastors for years without any interest in particular fields of debate or (worse) any thoughtful biblical rationale for most modern debate topics that they personally endorse. I guess what I'm saying is that there are a lot of pastors who are just unprepared and disinterested in engaging the culture where they have not received training. Just think of how many Christian pastors get side-tracked by "liberal" debate topics and end up defaulting on mainstream "conservative" solutions instead of being grounded in God's History, God's Promises, and God's Laws, which challenge entire world views, both liberal and conservative, which many times are set against God's Word. Greg Bahnsen was one of those men who maintained a healthy balance and never lost courage. Wilson also doesn't. I pray that the Lord raises up more Godly men to stand on the shoulders of those giants.

Jeff Wencel said...

Jon, lots of good points (as usual). But do you think that the Bible requires of pastors some ability in debating publicly? In line with, for example, the Titus 1 text Wilson cited.

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