But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:23-24, NASB1995).
I finished reading the book, The Air We Breathe, by Glen Scrivener. It was voted by Christianity Today as one of the best books on apologetics written in the last year.
I’m down with that. I want to know how to beat up atheists and agnostics with well-nuanced and articulate arguments! Then I read this quote in the book . . .
Persuasion, not power, ought to be the means by which influence is spread.
Oops, let me revise my previous statement to: I want to know how to persuasively discuss with atheists and agnostics the good news of Jesus.
A concept that the book discusses in the last chapter is Jesus Smuggling!
No, the author isn’t discussing sneaking Christian leaflets into library books, carving “John 3:16” on restroom stall doors, or even sending out mass texts with the topic of “Repent or be damned” to your friends.
The book gives examples of 2,000 years of the Western culture of humanity, freedom, progress, science, and values while illustrating Jesus and His teachings as the foundation.
Jesus has been both the Savior of our lives and of history.
Jesus is smuggled into our lives through all our conversations because our undergirding ideas of what is right and wrong originate with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
When an atheist preaches human rights, this value began with Jesus. When a woman shouts, “Reproductive freedom!” though misguided, she is proclaiming an idea of human freedom originating in the Bible.
Christianity is the source of everything that we count as good in our culture.
This isn’t the story that we hear in media, as the talking heads of blaspheme and gurus of despair try to point out the absurdity of faith, how Christians hate, and pinpointing the failures of a few professed believers – all as demonstratable of why we should forsake the Bible, take Christianity out of politics, and promote all manner of ungodliness as acceptable alternatives.
I’ve learned that Christians should be calmly persuasive, but I still want to take a few of these narcissistic and humanistic scallywags into a back alley where some of my friends (better able than I) can beat them up!
Taking a softer approach, The Air We Breathe calls those who claim humane values (that originated in the Bible) as the result of their own thinking – well, it calls them bootleggers!
They are counterfeiting values from one system of belief (disparaging this same system) and then claiming that their philosophy will result in the same good. They steal values.
Realizing the absurdity of evil promoted as good and the demonic masquerading as angels of light, I still want to beat them up and call it righteous anger.
But I won’t. I can do something even more consequential. I will be a “Jesus Smuggler” in all my daily activities and relationships.
Meanwhile, let’s have nothing to do with scallywags, bootleggers, and counterfeiters!