The Quest for the Historical Jesus Part 4 - A Wake Up Call to the Church

The following is a condensed version of an article by BJ published in the Journal of Biblical Apologetics.

In a time when objectivity is denied and "truth" is nothing more than a person's preference for a particular flavor of ice cream, the church needs to be more aggressive in its task of apologetics. In fact, with the saturation of postmodernism into every facet of society, the church must stand up and share the authoritative and absolute truth of the Gospel message.

Unfortunately, with the motivation of wanting to be "relevant," many in the church have embraced the tenets of postmodernism, and instead of reforming the culture through the Gospel message, they have allowed culture to reform the Gospel message. Thus, the Gospel no longer possesses the exclusive message of salvation; instead, it is merely one narrative (worldview) among many other equally authentic narratives (worldviews).

Since this is the case, many Christians have begun to assimilate other belief systems into their Christian faith. As a result, Christianity has become a smorgasbord of opinions and beliefs, with no clearly defining parameters on what constitutes the true message of Jesus Christ.

Then we wonder why the majority of Christians are not only inept in being able to articulate a response to attacks against the Christian faith, but also why so many Christians begin to question and doubt their faith.

Not only is the average believer unprepared to give a reason for the hope that he has, but he does not even know the reason for the hope that he has.

This should be a wake up call to the church to accept this great challenge and equip believers to contend for the faith.

First, pastors need to get back to sound biblical preaching. God's word is essential for a believer's life. However, many messages from the pulpit today make little to no reference to the Bible. Instead of the Bible being the main source of instruction for the body of Christ, many rely solely upon personal stories, jokes, and skits.

While these are not necessarily unbiblical methods of communication, they certainly should not be the main source(s) of instruction –– God's Word should be!

The Bible provides God's people with proper direction (it tells us why we are here and where we are going), proper doctrine (it tells us what we need to know), proper discernment (it tells us how we can know right from wrong), and proper discipline (it tells us how we are to live).

Second, Christians need to saturate their lives in prayer. We are in an intense spiritual battle as the enemy earnestly desires to enslave the heart and the mind of every individual. Perhaps this battle is most intense on high school and college campuses. Many of these institutions have become a feeding ground for vicious assaults on the Christian faith.

The result of this attack through our education system has been tragic as countless young adults from Christian homes end up denying belief in Christ before they graduate from college. In order for us to be effective in this battle, we must be persistent in prayer (Colossians 4:2), and daily ask God to open the hearts and minds of our loved ones to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

As one of my mentors said, "The prayerless Christian is the powerless apologist." All of us who follow Jesus Christ face the timeless challenge of giving a reason for the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. May we never grow weary in this task!