For preparation and educational purposes, I want to bring the topics of debates to the table. The main reason for bringing this up, is because it seems to be the main reaction of people here in the US to anything Scriptural, spiritual, or in any other way controversial, and thus evangelism. Not only this, but that apologetics and dealing with objections has always been around.
I have a few intentions in mind for starting this forum. I would like to be clear on whether or not debating is in fact Scriptural, how it is to be done, with whom (if specific) do we engage, as well as things like examples throughout Scripture or within our own experiences, alternatives, and anything else that is possible to find.
I do not intend to distract anybody or give someone any further reason to not be doing what we are commanded, it is more that I would like us to be able to learn from our doing of the Word and maybe even warnings and convictions of the Spirit.
As we travel farther from the time of Jesus’ ministry and the first apostles/disciples, it is harder and harder to distinguish what the true and complete standard and example is that we are to follow from all of the denominational and other-wise divisional teachings/examples that we have before us today. Therefore, I think the main intention for this is that I am preparing to disciple inner-city youth this fall as part of the ministry God has given me and for my sake and their sakes, this could be a huge lesson to learn.
Lastly, it is my intention to see this from a “full-gospel” point of view, rather than from the typical, cessationalist-evangelical point of view. With this, I would like to point out that I have a hard time finding examples of this, today, within Spirit-filled evangelism, although I see it everywhere. So it is also to help clarify a few things to me in regards of Spirit-filled evangelism.
As I began thinking about this, there was a Scripture that came to mind from
I have looked into many different things over the past few years and the most common reoccurring things are pertaining to evolution/creationism, science, logic, rationality, history, etc. Every debate that I know of is centered on these, in fact, the very rules of most, if not all, debates require the use of some of these things in presenting your argument.
As I continue to read the pages, websites, and watch the videos, I see that it is very rare that Scripture is used as an authority, or even worse that the Christian/Biblical view prevails by much (or at all.) Why is this?
The constant thought I have is that of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.
That is the closest example I can think of in Scripture to that of a debate.
As for today I think of people like Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens and how they prevail time after time in these areas with people from every religion, spirituality, and even Christianity. There are even many people who fear these people because of the vast resources, publications, and such they’ve written as well as their experiences in the field of debates. I also see how prevalent other religions are, and how many people have actually converted from Christianity. (I understand not every “Christian” is a true follower of Christ, “little Christ.” This also is part of this issue, I think, of how Christianity has reverted to just another religion when it was once in a whole other league.)
What are your thoughts? What Scripture comes to mind? Have you experienced any of this? If so, what came from it, or what have you learned? Does anyone have a challenge that could possibly bring this outside the realm of theory, opinion, knowledge, etc. and into our lives, evangelism, ministry, etc.?