Christian Living

Apologetics with Brokenhearted Boldness and Contrite Courage

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 09/26/2015

Applying the messianic prophecy in Isaiah 42:3 to Jesus, Matthew says, “A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out.” As followers of Christ, we’re told to emulate His humility and kindness towards those who are suffering, including those who don’t yet know Him.

John Piper wrote the following about counseling, but it also applies to using apologetics:

It is true that we must be personally bold and afraid of no man but courageous as we contend for the truth. If we are simply nice, concerned, genuinely curious, attentive, supportive, and affirming, we may win a hearing with suffering people, but we will never lead them to life. Grace means courage and clarity. But it is just as true that our boldness must be brokenhearted boldness, that our courage must be a contrite and lowly courage, and that we must be tender contenders for the truth. If we are brash and harsh and cocky and clever, we may win a hearing with angry and pugnacious people, but we will drive away those who suffer. Paul makes it so clear that we are laid low and given comfort “so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:4). Those we counsel must feel that we are utterly dependent in our lives on the merciful comfort of God to make it through our days.

None of us likes to suffer, but know that suffering creates good apologists because suffering teaches us humility and gives us a greater experiential knowledge of God’s grace, making us better representatives of God’s grace to others.