When one considers the area of apologetics (the defense of the Christian faith), the three learning domains need to be kept in mind. The whole person is made up of mind, emotion and will. Apologetical approaches should consider the force of each domain and recognize that one approach might be more forceful (or convincing) than another. After
my conversion to Christ in 1972, I was trained in “intellectual” apologetics, i.e. persuading the mind to believe through various evidences and convincing proofs. Later, I was introduced to presuppositional apologetics, which I firmly believe is a more biblical approach, although I don’t dissuade the use of evidence and historical testimony as a somewhat convincing witness to the Christian faith. Evidence has value; reason and logic are ways of life, even for postmoderns. However, the reality is that the “apologetic” which personally convinced me (a frequent church goer with no saving faith in Christ alone) to entrust myself fully to Christ was the emotional (and relational) realm in combination with the “behavioral” domain. Not that I was without mental and intellectual stimulation to consider Christ’s claims over my life; nor that I had my emotions played with in a semi-Pelagian, altar call manner (although that was tried). No, I experienced the love of Christians toward me, when I had no love to return. I saw “enthusiasms” for Christ which I could not deny. I met believers who did not tell me everything; no, they demonstrated the gospel to my needy soul, overwhelming my damaged emotions and gradually transforming them, ultimately, of course, I was being transformed by Christ Himself, through the Holy
“What a powerful apologetic – hearing truth, but having my emotions stirred, as I observed the witness of God’s Spirit in others. “
Spirit. Now, all of this occurred in the context of truth, i.e. I was being presented the truth of Scripture (the Bible presupposes it is God’s truth, no matter how much postmoderns reject the concept – moderns and pre-moderns and unbelievers of all time have rejected this concept much to their eternal peril) while watching and experiencing the truth of Scripture in the lives of God’s redeemed people. What a powerful apologetic – hearing truth, but having my emotions stirred, as I observed the witness of God’s Spirit in others. I was convinced. Although, as C. S. Lewis writes, I came into the kingdom kicking and screaming all the way, not wanting to bow my will to the will of the LORD Jesus Christ. However, I have no regrets or apologies…. I am convinced, knowing that it was God the Father impacting me, changing the whole person – my mind, emotions and will. And by His grace, I am evidence that demands a verdict!