Apologetics is often confused with an apology; something said in order to placate the offended. To be sure, many are offended (perhaps more today than ever) by Christianity. However, the Christian response should not be an apology to the offense.

Fascinatingly, Hebrews says quite the opposite – “And we are His house [His Church], if we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope” (Hebrews 3:6). Rather than apologizing for the unilateral, exclusivist and all-demanding claims of Christianity, we ought to boast in our hope in these things. 

The word translated boasting is “kauxeima” (καύχημα) which is defined as the “act of taking pride in something or that which constitutes a source of pride…” (BDAG).

This is a fascinating invitation. Christianity, the religion which seeks to make emulators of Christ, is a practice (largely) of humility in which its adherents follow the God who humbled Himself by taking the form of mere mortals (Phil. 2:7). God is a God who humbled Himself, and we follow suit, enabled by the Holy Spirit.

Yet, in our humility, counting others as more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:3) somehow, we are called to boast! To brag.

How do we hold these seemingly contradictory invitations together? Simply by the object to which each action is oriented. With regard to ourselves, we are humble. With regard to Christ, however, we are to be swaggering blow hards. Not impish suggesters. We are to proclaim the truths of God as true. 

Shout it from the mountaintops with pride, not because you figured anything out or are even a whit better than the vilest sinner. Indeed, the content of your words has nothing to do with you. It has to do with Perfection.

These are not recommendations or mere interesting proposals, these are the eternal truths of the everlasting God which have the power to separate skin from bone, joint from marrow and sheep from goats. Brag about God; don’t offer Him as a consolation prize to those who aren’t intellectually capable of endorsing naturalism. When scoffers scoff, Christians smile because their boasting is in the opinions of God, not of man. You would not be offended by a man on fire doubting the existence of water. Why then do we fear those who do not believe in God?

 

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