My daughter hates modern apologetics.
Mother fail. I taught her a course in apologetics in high school.
But she says none of those proofs or arguments would have ever convinced her to be a Christian. And, truthfully, I would have to concur. They would have never convinced me either.
I heard John Piper speak to this recently at the Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference, and I wish my daughter had been there. He said that although he has always loved that kind of historical reasoning, when it comes down to it, he has a hard time remembering how to explain it. And that bothers him, because he’s basing his whole life on the truthfulness of Scripture, so it seems like he should really have the certainty of it down.
So, how can we know? I mean, KNOW?
Well, that’s what Piper talked about, and I loved it.
His answer, in a nutshell, is that we KNOW by seeing the glory of God. Really seeing it. With the eyes of our heart.
What a soft argument. Flimsy even. But so dang true.
Back to my daughter. I remember one significant moment in her life when the eyes of her heart saw Glory.
Of course, all her life we had been taking her to church and teaching her the Word and telling her our stories. But one night my husband reads a favorite sermon by Martyn Lloyd Jones aloud at family devotions. Great words by The Doctor, as he was affectionately called. We all sit there quietly taking in the glory of that gospel message.
And a couple days later we wake up to a letter my sweet daughter has penned. In it she pours out her heart and confesses every secret she has kept from us and begs for our forgiveness. And I am stunned. Not because of any revelation in that letter…but at the strangeness and suddenness of it. I didn’t see that coming.
She saw the Glory in the gospel. Just like that.
And in a way, that’s my story too. Not some propositional line of argument. But an encounter with Glory.
Funny enough, I became a real Christian just weeks after I decided I wasn’t one. My older brother had convinced me to at least read the Gospel of John. And there he was. The last person I expected. Jesus Himself.
Without even realizing what was happening, I found myself rooting for this person I’d heard about all my life, but had somehow missed. I wondered why they hadn’t told me all this in Sunday school. He wasn’t anything like the flannel graph! Way better.
But I’m sure they HAD told me. I just couldn’t hear. Or see.
I was surprised myself. I wasn’t convinced of Christianity. I was swept off my feet. I didn’t Believe in Christ. I Wanted Christ. I wanted this Jesus in my life like none other. There was no Argument. Just Awe.
I think that’s what it means when the Scripture says, “…having the eyes of your hearts enlightened….” Suddenly, you See. You see the glory of God. And that seals it.
So we keep teaching our children the Bible. We keep bringing them to church. We keep talking about the things of God. Even apologetics. These are the means….
And we pray. We pray that God will come down to them. Just like he did to us. That he will open the eyes of their hearts. So they will SEE. So they will see the Glory of God. And be swept away by the beauty of it.
“Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.”