Sunday, February 1, 2009
"The church doesn't need apologists," is a statement I hear on occasion. It is often followed with statements such as, "Christians only need to be aware of the Truth in order to defend it." It is a strange hermeneutic. Reformed tradition uses a historic hermeneutic: First, foremost, and final say is Holy Scripture; second is philosophy, as we have been given a mind we are to use it; third, scientific reason, as limited as it is; lastly, experience.
January 31, 2009 we attended an event at Westminster Presbyterian Church in San Jose, California. While this congregation struggles to teach its members the historic hermeneutic, they called in Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon to fly in from Philadelphia to speak for a little over one hour. The Saturday previous Pam Byers from Old First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco was a speaker at Westminster Presbyterian church. I was not in attendance to hear Ms. Byers' arguments.
Dr. Gagnon has done his homework on the issue of homosexuality and the Holy Scriptures. In his limited time at Westminster, he presented a very Biblical view. In his presentation, he used sources from outside Scripture. Even the self-labeled homosexual experts agreed with the Biblical assessment of homosexuality presented by Dr. Gagnon. Included in his evidence were also original source writings from ancient Greek and Roman writers and philosophers that do away with those who have not yet caught up with academia in their stance on this topic within the PC(USA).
I witnessed a proper use of Biblical knowledge and study; philisophical sources; scientific; and experience. It was all packaged in a truncated version of Dr. Gagnon's four hour presentation. Apologists and apologetics are needed within the body of Christ; they help us identify the antiChrists amongst us.