The goal of an apologetic encounter is not to put points on an abstract scoreboard. The apologist is not to be a gunslinger, looking for another notch to put in his Bible. The point of argument is to win people or, if any spectators are already won, to encourage them. To the degree that an argument contributes to that end, then God bless it. But in the meantime, it must be frankly stated that a lot of people who are deeply interested in apologetics need to think a lot less about winning, and a lot more about being winsome.
The truth is a wonderful thing. But because it is hard and unyielding, it makes a dandy club. This means that there are many young bucks who need to be exhorted to stop swinging that thing around so much.
Evangelicals appear to be preoccupied with sex. One megachurch pastor and his wife have written a book challenging married couples to a "sexperiment" of making love for seven days straight. Mark Driscoll's controversial new book on marriage contains a chapter titled "Can We?" in which he and his wife answer questions they are typically asked in counseling situations, questions related to different sex acts.
I want to offer a pastoral look at the underlying issues that prompt these questions and encourage pastors to go for the heart, not merely the surface, when approached with questions of this kind.
1. Recognize the legitimacy of the questions.
2. Go beyond the surface of the questions.
3. Challenge our culture's obsession with sex.
Outreach Magazine has released their annual list of the best books and curricula in evangelism, missional living, cross-cultural ministry. I'm glad to see the names of many friends on this list. A few highights:
• The King Jesus Gospel, Scot McKnight
• Journeys to Significance, Neil Cole
• Missional Communities, Reggie McNeal
• Right Here, Right Now, Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford
• Bloodlines, John Piper