Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blomberg on apostasy

JD, I completely agree with you in theory. I'm just still waiting to actually meet somebody who completely falls in the category you've described. It's remarkable how often in the forty years since I trusted in Christ I've met someone who has appeared to fall into that category and/or who has claimed to fall into that category, but if I get the chance to discuss questions of Christian faith in any detail with them, explain why I believe what I believe, do the best to give them my best answers to the classic, hard questions for believers, eventually they concede that they have no better response to give to me and/or admit that they have been deeply hurt by one or more Christians, struggled with one or more areas that the Bible deems sinful, and/or had a conception of God that didn't permit them to believe he could truly accept them, love them and forgive them as they were. I've also had the privilege of traveling enough and meeting with Christians on or from every major part of every continent on the globe and reading the stories of plenty who are now with the Lord to realize how many countless folks have had all those experiences and worse and yet remained faithful, subsequently recovering their faith on a subjective level and being profoundly grateful they had persevered--often in circumstances that put me to shame. In other words, one can't neatly separate the categories of external hardship and internal doubt because the former almost inevitably creates some of the latter. But the question is how one chooses to respond. I'm afraid it's not coincidental that the greatest proportion of deconversions have come in the modern Western world where people, physically and economically, have been by far the best off in the history of the planet and have deluded themselves into thinking they can survive without God. And various Christians need to own a fair amount of the blame because we've set the bar far too low, as if Christianity were a veneer one could place on top of an essentially secular life rather than an unflinching commitment by which all of our life is transformed.