Summary CHAPTER 3: THE THEOLOGICAL BASIS FOR APOLOGETICS (Pgs. 41-55)


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In this chapter McGrath argues that apologetics is not primarily about argumentation and winning arguments but rather about being mastered by the Christian faith in such a way that its ideas, themes, and values are deeply embedded in our souls.

Simon, Andrew, Philip, and Nathanael were impacted not by arguments but by an encounter with Christ.  This means that we need to get people to behold who Jesus is in the gospel accounts.  That’s a powerful apologetic.  When we point people to Jesus they have an opportunity to behold his glory and thus be transformed from death to life.

Again, McGrath accentuates the fact that if God does not move upon dead hearts, there will be no change.  Their blindness must therefore be removed in order for them to see.  We have the small role of removing obstacles to the faith through apologetic engagement, but only God can heal the malady of sin.

McGrath uses the analogy of penicillin to show that God is the healer (pg.46), he then uses the analogy of landscapes to show how we need to help people discover the glories of the faith (pg.47), and he uses the analogy of a prism to show the many facets of the Christian gospel help one appreciate the other facets (pgs.47-48).

McGrath reminds us that we are to show that the cross grounds human forgiveness, how it coupled with the resurrection grounds death’s end, how the cross also brings healing to our broken lives and finally that the cross displays God’s love.  We accomplish this by establishing the historicity and thereby the significance of the aforesaid.  But we must do this gently with those who struggle with any of the areas mentioned.

This means that there’s forgiveness for sinners, healing for the broken, relief for those fearing death, and for the unloved God’s boundless mercies demonstrated.

 

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