The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

not sorry the Apologistas

February18

Apologista?

Did I create a new word? Or, am I further evidencing the depth and breadth of my ignorance?

I love being a flawed human bean. /1

So…  Have you drawn swords (or cappucino /2) with an “Apologist”?

NOTE:  I don’t really have a problem with Christians.  I might like to be one myself.

See EvidenceGod, Logic and Discernment, If there were no obscurity, Image (one of my favorites), and, Christian Ambiguity Part II (apparently one of your favorites).

Maybe not.  I am just open-minded and open-hearted. /3

…but, are Christians?          

In my experience, these amateur (oft wounded) champions go out of their way looking for trouble, and consider their academic arguments regarding the placement of the colon in 23:43 and its relation to purgatory a sacred duty.

They are Serious Christians, and they hang out on debate boards (and Starbucks) having the same eleven arguments again and again and again. Disproportionately converts, many have serious intellectual acumen and a respect and discipline regarding the Scriptures culled from years of being Scripture-toting Evangelicals. But, in their enthusiasm for their faith (sometimes newfound) often lose sight of the goal of the Church – which, I believe, is to help form her people in the image of God.

By all means correct me if I am wrong.

This is almost precisely what happened to me. Early in my faith (and, I was a table bagin’ Believer [in the sophomoric sense /4]), I was endlessly passionate. However, I had no real hopes of convincing anyone, and I could not honestly, and with the deepest conviction (see – that is the Heterodox in me) say that I believed everything (or even most of the things) that I was arguing.

But then, somewhere along the way, it started to click. As C.S. Lewis has said (among others, to be sure):

“…one of the better ways of changing your outlook on things is by changing your behaviour.”

If you find yourself having trouble developing an intuitive sense of virtue, begin instead by simply pretending to be virtuous. That is, do what you think a virtuous person would do, and eventually it will start to make sense and become a sort of instinct. This is also true of the body, the mind, and the soul; because we are, by our nature, a mixture of the three, changing the attitudes of one will necessarily have some effect upon the others – thus kneeling may instill focus and reverence when none is initially felt (for example). In the same manner, the more one argues in favour of a proposition, and does the research necessary to make those defenses deeper and more plausible, the less and less easy it becomes to simply divorce the idea from the action.

What may have started as something I was doing because it was fun became something I was doing because I felt it right and necessary.

This is where I think Reflecting and Representing become important more so than dogmatic structure. I direct you, once again to Image.

Of course, this brought with it all sorts of other problems. The trouble is that the value of extensive and deeply-researched apologetics is minimal when it comes to simply living the Christian life and interacting with The Man In The Street.

Few who aren’t already heavily invested in such things will get much out of painstaking debates on what pistos really means or on the implications of diverging genealogical tables. Mistaking such subjects for the heart and soul of the faith can be deadly, and is all too easy.

I spent more time arguing about churches than going to them; and, more time defending the legitimacy of Scripture than reading it. Worst of all, I spent so much time insisting that God existed that it would be hard to say that I ever actually lived as though that were the case.

And so the trouble with apologetics is revealed to be the larger trouble with pretty much everything – be it debate, or liturgy, or architecture, or individual persons, or even religion itself.

God is enormous, and our approach to Him may come from many directions – and, may use many tools. But, as real and necessary as those directions and tools are, they are not themselves God, and we fall short of what is necessary when we begin to confuse them.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork
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1/ I spelled it right. I am a “Human Bean”.

2/ I don’t care if I mispelled this…  I have never tasted coffee in my life.

3/ As a refresher, I don’t have an issue with God.  What would be the point?  I am convinced he is bigger than me.

4/ soph⋅o⋅mor⋅ic – adjective of or pertaining to a sophomore. Suggestive of or resembling the traditional sophomore; intellectually pretentious, overconfident, conceited, etc., but immature: sophomoric questions.

Dr. Nick Pappas at Radford University patiently reminded us (and often) that sophomore means “wise fool”.

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