Sunday, July 13, 2014

Carnell: persuading doubters, not the defiant

Sunday, July 13, 2014
    Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.”
    He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.”
    —Matthew 12:38-41 (NIV)
    The heart must be kept tender and pliable; otherwise agnosticism converts to skepticism. In such a case, the value of apologetics is voided, for apologetics is aimed at persuading doubters, not at refuting the defiant. He who demands a kind of proof that the nature of the case renders impossible, is determined that no possible evidence shall convince him.
    ... Edward John Carnell (1919-1967), The Case for Orthodox Theology, Philadelphia: Westminister, 1959, p. 84 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 12:38-41; Mark 8:11-12; Luke 11:16,29-30; John 2:18-19; 4:48; 6:61-63; 1 Cor. 1:22-24; 1 Pet. 2:7-8
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, warm the hearts of _____ and _____ to Your word.
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