In some contexts, not getting much of a response is an indication that you're doing something right. Opponents may want to ignore something they can't refute. People may be apathetic about an issue or may not be thinking in depth about it, so they have little or nothing to say in response to those who address the issue in depth. On the other hand, not everybody falls into one of those categories, and it's difficult to understand why those people are also so unresponsive at times....
But you should be encouraged if [your apologetic work] gets ignored in some contexts. That often suggests you've done well.
Something I've found helpful is to break down my potential audience into categories. God is always part of that audience and the most important member of it (2 Corinthians 5:9). And each individual is important (Luke 15:4). Even if something you do only benefits one person, that's significant. And something that doesn't seem to be doing much good now may accomplish more in the future. How I influence people ten years or ten millennia from now is important (Psalm 102:18). I often remind myself of those three aspects of my audience, and I've memorized those three passages of scripture. There are a lot of relevant Biblical passages, but those are the three I chose. Often, we focus on whether our work gets a positive response from a lot of people in the present. But a positive response from God, from a smaller number of people in the present, or from people in the future is significant as well.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Encouragement For Apologists
What's below is a portion of an email I recently sent regarding encouragement for apologists. I'm posting it here in case it would be helpful to other people. Though I was addressing individuals who do apologetic work, my comments are applicable to those doing other work as well: