I've been reading Romans. I'm following along with the daily devotions in TableTalk as well. This morning, I've been reading Romans 1:18-21:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
The devotion for today brings up the topic of apologetics. I thought it was worth sharing part of it:
Apologetics is the discipline that seeks to give an intellectual defense of the Christian faith. Helpng unbelievers analyze the evidence for the Christian faith and to think more consistently and logically about their own claims is important work, and at least a basic case for the rational nature of Christianity is involved at some level in almost every evangelistic encounter. Seasoned evangelists and apologists will tell you, however, that the fundamental problem that people have with the gospel is not an intellectual one. Non-Christians will try to erect intellectual strongholds against belief in God and His Son, but the evidence is so overwhelming and compelling that there is no such thing as a true atheist. Dr. R.C. Sproul has often noted that the real problem for the atheist is not that he cannot see the truth of God's existence; the real issue is that he hates the God who does not exist.
I have personally seen this scenario. I have relatives who claim to be atheists, and this hatred toward a God they say they don't believe in inevitably gets directed toward Christians' lifestyles, and toward the Bible. This hatred is why we see attempts to label the Bible "hate literature." One of the fastest ways to silence the gospel is to outlaw the revelation of God.
It is sobering to think of the myriads around us who have darkened hearts. Some of them are very close to us. Some of my relatives, when I mention God, look at me with either a blank stare, or an impatient frown. Their hearts are darkened. What is sobering is the slippery slope of a darkened mind that follows Romans 1:21.
If you have been redeemed from a darkened mind, first praise the God who bought you. Secondly, live in a way that testifies to this redemption.