Christian Apologetics Alliance

Christian Apologetics Alliance
Member: Christian Apologetics Alliance

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Scriptural studies online: my virtual discussion group

After spending several months trying to get an apologetics discussion group jumpstarted, I've quit trying hard to get it done.

It's not the easiest thing to do to get a few people interested in what seems to be a difficult conversational approach towards building one's faith. It truly is a challenge to get people to think, and to think Christianly or biblically is a completely different ballgame altogether.

These days, I've resorted to sharing and comparing faithviews with two very good friends - they've spent more time than I have in ministry and kinda have a pretty good idea of what we're "talking" about online. I come in as a dwarf among giants - something like Luke Skywalker discussing the skills of a Jedi with Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda.

Discussing these matters face to face would be quite desirable but it would be quite an ordeal to meet halfway between Cebu City in the Philippines and Midwest USA to do that regularly.

So, sharing these views online by email is a suitable and quite a viable option. And it also gives us a chance to organize our thoughts after pondering the subject and then putting them down online.

In a recent exchange, Jim Crews - a Bible scholar (Yoda), John Ricards (Obi Wan) - an American Missionary to the tribes in Mindanao with a thick Visayan accent, and myself were discussing two particular verses in the New Testament, involving the explanation for the thief on the cross who sought Jesus' favor and was granted Grace, and another involving appearances of the righteous dead in Jerusalem after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

We had a very good discourse online, finding suitable answers for the questions from two different perspectives - Jim's, through an understanding involving enlightenment from the Holy Spirit, and mine - through an intellectual probing of the circumstances surrounding the Gospel account and finding a suitable explanation.

The bottom line is that we both arrived at the same destination, though we used quite different paths. They were both valid approaches, and we still arrived at similar conclusions.

It is these kinds of conversations that help bring about a good understanding amongst us who attempt to see though the glasses, though darkly. Because when we open the eyes of our hearts wider, we may be able to see better and understand more. Not all of it, by any means. But much better than we had previously understood it.

I appreciate the admonition by Dr. Clay Jones of Biola University that we, as Christians need to listen to each other. In his words: "Christians, whether leaders or not, need to listen to each other." And included that in his blog post, which I follow - his link is here:

In light of this, I find that I have found my discussion group that I've been searching for, and in the comfort of my own home - though miles apart, it's almost like we're finding God together over our favorite hot beverage, without having to go halfway around the world to do this.

Perhaps, one day we would be able to come together with likeminded believers that seek God's truths in real time, through technologies that will allow this. But for now, this suffices - and thankfully, it suffices very well.