While Driving this morning, I had a chance to listen to an Apologetics 315 podcast featuring an interview with Peter Kreeft. If you have not subscribed to the Apologetics 315 podcasts, I strongly suggest that you do so if you have any interest in Christian apologetics. Brian Auten does an outstanding job of interviewing apologists in a way that is informative yet avoids technical jargon.
In this particular episode, Peter said something which struck me. He was answering a question about what to do when interacting with someone who is asking questions intended to put off the apologist. In other words, what do you do when someone really isn’t interested in considering the claims of Jesus Christ.
Kreeft’s response was that in being a witness to Jesus Christ, we are not called to win arguments. We are called to “stand in the light.” In other words, we should not be focused on backing the non-believer into a philosophical corner, but should be seeking to be a testimony to the active work of God in our lives.
Shortly after hearing this phrase, I turned off the podcast to think about this phrase for a while. Four aspects of standing in the light came to me.
- Jesus, in Matthew 5:14-16 tells us that believers are the light of the world. This light is not self-generated, but is the glory of God shining through us as we submit to him. If I am not shining with God’s light, it is because I am dulling the brightness through my own self-will. As I surrender to God and am conformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:1-2) then I will shine with God’s light.
- We are to stand in the light. Thirteen times in the ESV, the phrase “stand firm” is used. For example, at the end of Paul’s list of the spiritual armor, he tells us in Ephesians 6:13 that the purpose of taking up the armor is so that we might be able to take our stand or stand firm. We are not to give ground.
- To stand in the light, we are not to run ahead or lag behind the light. In other words, we are to be at a place in our walk with Jesus that we are sensitive to where he is leading. Remember what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (ESV) Paul did not try to produce growth when his responsibility was only to plant. Be sensitive to the role that God is giving you to play and then do it.
- To stand firm implies good footing. This reminds me that Bible reading and reflection are necessary to be a good witness to the claims of Christ. Wrestling with our own doubts and lack of knowledge are also critical to being used by God in the lives of others. If I understand who I am before God and what God has done for me, then I will not get dismayed when the person I am speaking with resorts to argument and ridicule.
I’m sure there are more aspects to this. Would you care to add any in the comment section below?