"My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly." - John Calvin
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The Bereans and Christian Apologetics
"Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, 'This Jesus, Whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.' And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women."
- Acts 17:1-4
In our Wednesday evening service tonight at church, we started a video series by R. C. Sproul on apologetics. The elder who was leading started us with reading a couple of relevant Bible texts, including I Peter 3:15 and Acts 17, part of which I have quoted above.
I also thought of Isaiah 55:11, "[S]o shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."
I notice in the Mars Hill (or Areopagus, depending on version) story (Acts 17:16-34), Paul didn't preach on justifying what Scripture teaches. Rather, he taught the Scriptures as authoritative and sufficient in themselves. A former pastor of mine advised the congregation to point out what Scripture says on a matter, then to stop, and let the Holy Spirit work. Afterall, the Scriptures are His word, and He will sustain and apply them, as Isaiah promised. He doesn't require us to protect Him from opposition. When Paul followed that advice, though he was an apostle with the authority that office carries, Jews and Greeks were converted!
My name is Chris Cole. I have lived in the Charlotte, NC, area for over thirty years, and have been an active Presbyterian during most of that time. I love the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of my own personal beliefs.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible, and all quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise stated.
I have a number of reviews of Reformed books on Amazon. There is a link to them in the Reformed links below.
"Seeing [that] the Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus, is so ready (never was there king so ready to hear a subject as Jesus is), [even] if thou wert the vilest body that goes, a thief, a harlot, etc., yet if thou wilt say this, 'Lord, remember on me, and give me a part of thy kingdom'; - if thou prayest to him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I promise unto thee, heaven and earth shall go [fall] together ere thou wantest [lack] thine asking. Seeing [that] our Lord Jesus is so liberal [free-giving], then seek more than enough, more than a kingdom, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want [lack] is in us: we have no hearts to seek it." - Rev. Robert Rollock, Scottish Presbyterian minister, about 1590, in a commentary on Luke 23:42-43