Friday, May 16, 2008

Becoming An Answer Bearer

I’ve been thinking about how I think. Socrates lamented that the unexamined life was not worth living. I think he wanted to get at the heart of being. He wanted to know why things were and how they got to be that way. He asked questions and questioned the questions. I’m not sure he ever found what he was looking for, but he enjoyed the journey of inquiry.

My thinking has changed drastically in recent years. I pretty much thought one way all the way through high-school. In college, my thinking sharpened, but was not really altered. I was more aware of the world around me and how other people thought. I was more aware of how I thought and why I believe what I believe.

I think what changed wasn’t really what I believe, but how I live out what I believe. How I relate to others concerning my beliefs and as an expression of my beliefs. Although, I made the transition of believing in Jesus because my mom taught me to and believing Him for myself at the age of 14 or 15, I had still didn’t see things as clearly and as lovingly as I ought.

I could be pretty legalistic and dogmatic at times. I would argue for my worldview without giving thought to how I was perceived by others. I knew I was right in what I believed, but I didn’t realize that my audience was just as committed to their beliefs that I was carelessly trampling. I put truth first and the person second. It wasn’t as bad as it may sound; I didn’t hit anyone over the head with the Bible literally or figuratively. I consistently took a stand for truth in the college classroom. It bothered me deeply to hear the distorted history, philosophy, and faulty logic being promulgated in every subject on a daily basis. The audacity of professors to make such errors in thinking irked me to the core. I was not afraid to correct professors or fellow students. I hit hard in all of my essay and research paper assignments dismantling any arguments against the Christian worldview. I buried myself in apologetics reading material, constantly seeking to learn how to communicate what I believe more effectively to combat the secularism pervading the university.

I am still just as committed to truth and to effectively communicating the Christian worldview. However, I am more committed to experientially knowing Jesus who is the Truth thereby communicating Christ his way and not mine. The worldview change that came about and is coming about still was a matter of the heart and not really of the mind. What I believe did not change, but how I believe it and how I express it changed with a heart change. God broke my heart for people. He gave me compassion. He has transformed my thinking about people so much so that I desire to be ever so kind in communicating Christ that He would be evident in me. Paul said he did not speak with wise and persuasive word, but with the power of God. I think in part, he was saying that he spoke out of his relationship with God and not by his own words.

I have felt called to use my passion for writing in the discipline of apologetics for about ten years. In the last few years I have learned the difference between being one who argues for Christ and being one who is an answer bearer for Christ. Meaning I carry Him who is the Answer within me and it is out of that place that I can bring answers to those questioning the hope that I have in Christ Jesus. I thank the ministry of Ravi Zacharias for my mental understanding of my heart change for it is through his books he has given words to what it means to be an answer bearer. It is not by my might, nor my by strength, but by the power of Christ that I can claim to have any answers at all. Knowledge comes from God and no one can lay claims to what He reveals. I can only point to Him through my answers for if my answers point to myself I have done you a disservice and I don’t have the truth. I hope that all that I write and all that I say points to Him who is the Truth.


cipriano said...

I too, am one deeply committed to thinking about how I think.
It is really important, I think, to maintain a real tenacity when it comes to having a willingness to displace inferior ideas for better ones. No matter what stage in that continuum we are at, there are always, and ever will be, greater things to learn and accept as true.
Our only real knowledge [of anything] must therefore be thought of as "current" knowledge. To be [hopefully] added to.
Our intelligence is limited, yes. And always will be so.
But it does not follow that it is thereby a thing to be shelved, along with the old shoes, and other things which have fallen into disuse. The best thing about us is how smart we are.
Believing is a destination.
But knowing is a process.

Trekin4JC said...

C.S. Lewis once wrote that "there are many opinions about a matter until one knows the truth and there is only one." So it is good to keep adding to knowledge but in some things we can be certain. Like in order to know anything at all we really have to know God exist and that reality doesn't change. We can know more about Him and we can know Him better. But the truth that He is does not change. Actually truth never changes. Our perception of it and understanding of it changes, but it is what it is.