Justin Martyr: A Man for Our Season
- Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Then, Justin offered a compelling apologetic for faith in Christ himself by explaining in detail the prophetic evidence laid out in the Old Testament and arguing for the authenticity of these writings by referring Caesar to the records of Pontius Pilate and the libraries of Egypt as well as others. He continually presented empirical evidences for the authenticity of scripture, the deity of Christ, and challenged Caesar in the name of reason to examine the described evidence for himself. (Historical arguments)
Lastly, Justin challenged the truth claims of the Greek and Roman gods by pointing to creation, the natural order and their apparent inconsistencies with reality and human experience. (Theological and Natural Law arguments)
In concluding his appeal to Caesar, Justin delivered the truth of judgment and condemnation, a warning that all men who reject the truth do so at their own peril. He did not flinch when it came to sharing hard truths but he endeavored to give a compelling defense that would hopefully lead to understanding and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the way, the truth, and the life!
Justin's First Apology clearly demonstrates the role of reason in defending the truth by first "tearing down" the false presuppositions of an opposing position or belief. Justin worked tirelessly for another 15 years, helping Christians address the competing philosophies of their day. This is precisely how we must engage the issues in our culture - at the foundation of what a given position or belief is based upon
Today, as in Justin's day, the truth of the Gospel is under vicious assault and few in the Church seem to have taken seriously their responsibility to "be prepared to give an answer." Instead, we are often quick to respond with religious rhetoric and moralizing language that attacks rather than seeks to engage people in serious and meaningful discourse presented in respectful terms. As we reflect upon Christ's advent during this season let us also endeavor to equip ourselves as "workmen approved" to contend for Christ and His Kingdom in a way that truly honors Him.
I would encourage you to read Justin's First Apology for yourself. You can read it online here
Copyright 2005, S. Michael Craven
S. Michael Craven is the vice president for religion & culture at the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families and leads the work and ministry of Cultural Apologetics. The Cultural Apologetics ministry works to equip the Church to assert and defend biblical morality and ethics in a manner that is rational, relevant and persuasive in order to recapture the relevance of Christianity to all of life by demonstrating its complete correspondence to reality. For more information on Cultural Apologetics, additional resources and other works by S. Michael Craven visit: www.CulturalApologetics.org
Michael lives in the Dallas area with his wife Carol and their three children.
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