Christian Apologetics Alliance

Christian Apologetics Alliance
Member: Christian Apologetics Alliance

Monday, July 16, 2012

Outsourced Thoughts

I live in Cebu City. A city that Tholons (a business processes outsourcing consulting group) has dubbed the most viable place to set up and operate Business Process and Knowledge Process Outsourcing enterprises.

It’s still another way of saying you can get it done cheaper here than where you live. That is, if you live in the developed world that’s being crippled financially.

No matter. There are more job opportunities for the 25,000 or so college graduates that finish a four or five year degree course only to find themselves awake at night, making or receiving calls overseas in behalf of clients that need to keep their CRM costs down. Way down.

That way, they are still able to maintain a certain degree of good customer relations and the otherwise potentially unemployed have jobs, except that their nightlife is ruined forever. (While they are still working there, anyway.)

Now what has this got to do with renovating our minds?

Well, a group of friends from an old school got together just recently and gave us the chance to catch up, as some of us hadn’t seen each other for almost 33 (?) years.  One became a pastor, after a profound career change from being Army officer.

The inevitable question had to be asked: “So…how do you…make a living??” or something similar to that was brought up.

I wasn’t quite prepared for his answer, but somehow it made sense. “There are certain people who appreciate our efforts to provide spiritual direction in the lives of people, and they decide to invest in our ministry.”  Very tactful, gracious and a sufficient answer.  Never mind if there are other justifications for it.  Other people would have quoted irrelevant scriptures or cite practices that are somehow inconsistent already, given the covenant of Grace which we are already subject to. ( Read  Obligations and Contracts, and study the matter of contract novation to understand it better.)

In the congregation where we gather to worship, we are studying the matter of shepherding – sheep behavior and what is involved in the process of shepherding.  As it is – shepherding, the way our King expressed His wish for Peter, was not a paid job, but a calling and a response to our King’s wish: to care for His sheep.

And in so doing, we do what we do to shepherd His people. Not for money or anything else, but to fulfill His call to make mathethes of every ethnos. The difference between a career and a call.

Throughout this time, my good friend and teacher exegeted the scriptures well enough to allow us to see that making mathethes is not a job that can be quantified and bill for later on, on a per hour or per lesson basis.  Freely we receive, therefore we must give freely.

BUT – though we are under no compulsion to support those that provide this knowledge in order that we can eventually shepherd our own flocks, we receive when we do give freely and generously to them – as we invest in their efforts and benefit from their care and prayer support as well.

It makes sense when you realize that we no longer depend on priests, as the new covenant has eliminated the need for the necessity of intermediaries.

True, we are a priesthood of believers. But the stark, sad reality is that the overwhelming majority of the new priesthood do not do their homework.  Which is why many either fall astray or get lost altogether.

No wonder the Good Shepherd is always out looking for lost sheep.

And this, to my understanding is where the matter of Outsourcing the Defense is necessary.

In all of the blogs I’ve come across, ministry sites I’ve visited and lettered apologists, scholars and theologians I’ve communicated with, I find that there are less than 1% of followers of Jesus that engage in the life of the mind.  For whatever reason.  And another common factor is that, when they are faced with the challenges that they don’t have answers for – then, they call: the MYTHBUSTERS!! ( Lousy joke, I know. I was just kidding!)

It seems to be easier to call a friend who knows the answers to meet the challengers head on and call on them to find answers instead of reading a book, listening to a podcast, or (God help us!) thinking it through.  It seems like a dreadful chore, but since it’s got to be done, let’s call the specialists.

While I continue to sigh inwardly at the current inclinations of those of my generation to depend on me to help them defend what they believe, I’m also honored because they feel that they can trust me enough to help them out in providing the justification to what the more critical and less thoughtful would refer to as a reasonless faith.

I am glad that I am able already (or so I think). And also, for the work that I do that allows me to read, study, think and hammer out my own worldview so that others can form their own, with a bit of my guidance.

This is where I think our roles as Knowledge Process Outsources become relevant. Because we CAN provide better explanations, a formidable defense and a strong, evidential justification for what we believe and articulate it for those who haven’t bothered to try.  If we are able to get them interested enough to want to do the same, we take it to a higher level – to the level that our King would so desire, and make more mathethes in the process.

And mostly, we as apologists, provide Clarity to our faith. And in that sense, we qualify as providers.

And what about the enterprise of it? 

I’m not holding my breath. 

Of all the disciplines in the field of theology and Christian philosophy, I find that the most difficult to get financial rewards from is this path that is least trod. And not just because it’s a challenging one.  Christianity, by itself, is the narrow road.  This trail requires more tracking skills so you don’t get lost.  So, should we be surprised if there are less that take the path towards a more rational righteousness?

Paul was a tentmaker.  I am a media producer and a sweat equity investor in a friend’s growing business.

And at the same time, a freelance philosopher, armchair theologian and an apologetics coach.

(By the way, that’s a nice development from being an erstwhile apologist.)

And thankful for the gift of reasoning skills, being able to use them and working through the tough questions myself.

So someday, I can assist more who think that they can't.

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