Arguing Is Good

Some Christians shy away from apologetics because they think arguing is contentious.  Actually, properly done, arguing is the way we arrive at the truth. And has nothing to do with being argumentative.

A lot of people shy away from apologetics because they think it entails arguing, and arguing is a problem. But I want to make a distinction between arguing and quarreling. I think quarreling is a problem but not arguing. Think of what Jesus said. We are to love our Lord with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength; our whole heart, MIND, soul, and strength. We are to use our minds well in learning about God and loving Him. God has given us some tools that allow us to do that. 

I’m here in my workshop, and I have lots of tools that I use for very specific things. What is the tool that God has given us to find out what is true so that we can love Him well with our minds? Well, that tool is reason and reason is employed in a very particular way. It is used to help us to find out and assess, in our environments and in our world, what is true and what is false and, consequently, live better as a result—especially as followers of Christ. 

Using reason, though, is not a solitary venture. We use other people in the process. We depend on others to reflect on things with us, bounce things off of, engage—maybe even with those with different opinions about things. And this is where arguing comes in. Arguing is the ability to take opposing sides in a principled way, to knock things around, to figure out which side is true or more closely approximates the truth, and that is a God-given tool. It’s important that we employ it and, if we employ it well, we’ll be able to love God better with our minds—but only if we are willing to engage. 

That’s why arguing is not a bad thing. It’s a good thing, if done properly. Not quarreling but disputing with others on issues of truth—bringing evidence into play—so that we can discover what our world is really like—now that honors God.

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Greg Koukl