I am sitting here writing this long awaited post at the conclusion of 3 years working on my D.Min degree from Southern Evangelical Seminary. It has been a great journey in which I have come to understand that God has gifted us all with, as Luke puts it, “many convincing proofs” concerning the person and redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ. I have been strengthened in my resolve through the use of apologetics, but have also learned another lesson concerning the faith to which I now even more strongly hold . I have learned that the Spirit that lives within me is by far the greatest witness of the truth of the gospel message.
In Psalm 145:3 it states, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” Some translations use the phrase ‘ is unsearchable’ for ‘no one can fathom’. The image is that God is beyond human comprehension. We dare not as finite beings attempt to speak of the infinite as if we have somehow grasped even a shadow of His true glory. We know but in part and only that which He has chosen to reveal. He is infinite perfection and boggles the minds of any who think that they have bested Him.
As an infinite being, He is self-existent. His Word goes unbroken from the minute it was spoken. Man may write books refuting His existence, but the truth of the matter is, they simply cling to their own wishes. They may claim that His truth cannot be proven but their logic smells of contradictions. Accountability is what they fear and so they commit the oldest of sins. Their pride betrays them and labels them the as the ‘fool who says there is no God.” I tire of people who hold up the New Atheists as being men of knowledge. Shall we define as knowledgeable those who foolishly deny what is most reasonable?
Aquinas once stated, “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” Why is this the case? The faithful do not require that they have all the answers for the mysteries of God. They only rejoice in the ones that He has chosen to reveal and in them they find more than enough proof. Their spirit is at ease because they have tasted the truth of God and know it is more than sufficient. Would it change the heart of a man who refuses to believe if God were to appear right before him. The answer is likely ‘no’. For me apologetics helps to clear the path so that the gospel may do its work. It is reasonable faith but man may deny the planting of the seed.
Apologetics is a powerful tool for intellectual doubt, but it has its limits. It is up to us to help clear the way for the gospel and it is up to man to clear his own mind from volitional or emotional blocks to the planting.
At the conclusion of my D.Min journey, I have come to understand that the education and preparation is only really beginning!:)