In Eric Svendsen’s small book Upon This Slippery Rock, he gives a small dedication in the front that reads:
“To the new breed of ‘e-pologists’ who contend for the faith over the Internet-the new battleground of apologetics.”
This statement is phenomenal. The Internet is now where a large amount of contending for the faith is done. However, an issue that I (and many other Christians) face is choosing wise battles.
The problem with the Internet is that so much social networking takes place at one time in a context where so much material is so readily available that one would spend all day online if they engaged every battle offered to the public. I for one, have been involved in enough tireless, emotional, and disparaging arguments on Facebook to understand that some are just not fruitful. However, while it is very true that many debates and arguments should be avoided, there is a swing among some people that every conversation falls into this category. A small idea is sprouting that any debate with an unbeliever is always a waste of time.
Many Christians don’t want to debate. I fear this stems from a laziness, from not wanting to do the hard work of preparing ourselves to defend the faith, even though Peter and Jude both command it. The Scriptures do not teach that Christians should avoid debating.
Often times people will quote verses from 1st and 2nd Timothy or Titus to promote avoiding debates. Here are some of them:
1 Timothy 4:7, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths…”
1 Timothy 6: 3-5, “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness…”
2 Timothy 2:6 “But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness…”
2 Timothy 2:23 “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels…”
Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless…”
What these verses don’t mean:
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”