The Humanism of Evangelistic Apologetics
There is no part of the Bible or its doctrine, no part of true Christianity or its LORD, which has not been attacked with persistent fury by the LORD’s enemies. This is expected in a fallen world and has been the fact since the devil tempted Eve (“Indeed, has God said…?”).
What may not be expected is that the brunt of the attack on the Gospel of the Lord Christ is not from those who are His expressed enemies but from those who claim—falsely!—to preach that Gospel in the name of that same Lord Christ!
Look at this dire assessment from the Apostle Paul:
2 Cor 11.13-15
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
Go back and reread that text again (indeed, the entire chapter): those who claimed to be servants of the Lord Christ were really the agents of the devil! Please let that sink in!
And if that was true in the Apostle's day, think of the scope of the devil's intrusion into the churches of our age! His servants stand in the pulpits across America every Sunday, they're on the radio and television; they even have their own YouTube channels. And the truly grievous truth is that so-called "Christians" consume their deceitful garbage and think that they've been taught by "gifted Bible teachers"!
One aspect of this problem is that true Bible preaching and teaching are regarded as passé, because adherence to the Word of God is, so they claim, no longer useful or relevant to "modern" mankind. No, what is needed is an intellectual approach, something that, once presented to the mind of the lost (and dead!) sinner, will magically bring him/her to the Lord Christ.
[Of course, adherents to this approach don't really believe that the sinner is "dead in trespasses and sins". (Eph 2.1) Modern man knows better than our Creator. (I'm being sarcastic, of course!)]
The purpose of this series is to reveal just how humanistic and corrupted the preaching of the Gospel has become in our "intellectual age". Evangelists are equally enamored with and deceived by our current state of rationalism and sense of moral and intellectual independence. Their writings show just how far they’ve drifted from a dependence upon the LORD they claim commissioned them for, instead, complete dependence on their own intellect, methods, strategies and ideologies.
They provide consistent, stunning, and explicit and implicit evidence of just how embarrassed they are of the simple, pure message of “Repent, and believe the Gospel!”.
Instead, they substitute an “intellectually appealing" and "intellectually safe” message, one carefully designed to not offend the lost sinner. Rather, it is a message designed to attract the lost in all the wrong ways.
They present a “new gospel”, one which subtly encourages the lost to “contribute” to their own salvation through the so-called power of their own reason. This “new gospel”, the "gospel of evangelistic apologetics", and its methodology and message are “another gospel” which was condemned nearly two millennia ago by the Holy Spirit of God speaking through the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Galatians.
Today’s preachers are accurately portrayed by Peter through this OT text:
2 Pet 2.22
It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”
Given the predominance and popularity of this “evangelist apologetics” methodology, it is no wonder that even our current, so-called conservative, evangelical churches are filled with the lost who have been made comfortable with their own false profession, a profession made because the lost thought that he/she was “smart enough” to be saved and not because they were "born from above", repented of their sin and came to the Lord Christ by grace through faith. (Eph 2.8-9)
[cf. Dead or Alive: The Order of Salvation on this site.]
I begin with a thorough biblical foundation of the key doctrines vital to true evangelism before critiquing and exposing the spectacular errors of the modern evangelistic apologist. This series is presented in 14 chapters:
- The Astonishing Misuse of "Apologetics"
- Evangelistic Apologetics as it is Typically Defined Today
- The Spiritual Nature of the Lost
- The Election of Grace
- The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Salvation of the Lost
- Preach the Gospel!
- The “Proof Texts” typically (Mis)Used by the Evangelistic Apologist
- Applicable Texts Typically Ignored by the Evangelistic Apologist
- Romans 1
- The Resurrection of Christ
- Developing a Biblical Definition of Apologetics
- Calling out the Evangelistic Apologists
[This chapter contains an arbitrary selection of 16 in-depth reviews and critiques of articles written by evangelistic apologists, some who are well-known.]
The exposé section, which itself comprises 16 articles, occurs in chapter 13, Calling out the EvangelisticApologists.