GOD FOR OTHERS: An Update from RZIM Australia
Few things in life can evoke the full gamut of human hopes and sorrows than hospitals. In the last few weeks I said goodbye to my friend, Nabeel Qureshi (tribute below), as well as to my last surviving grandparent. Only because of the resurrection of Jesus, and their deep Christian commitment, am I in the place where I do not grieve as one without hope. And yet their departure leaves a profound hole. Death, though defeated, still lingers for a time, and we experience its dark shadow.
At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve recently returned to work after a few weeks annual leave following the birth of our second son, Zachariah (pictures below). We chose the name for a number of reasons, not least because of its meaning: Yahweh has Remembered. For us, like many of our friends, trying to start a family has been fraught with pain. Our first two children we lost to unusual miscarriages. And whilst infertility and miscarriage seem to be rarely spoken about, the death of this hope of a family for some, or of little human lives for others, can leave a profoundly deep hole, one that fills with questions. Why did God not answer our prayers? Does he care? Are we forgotten?
Zach’s name we wanted to serve as a constant reminder of God’s coming into the human story. Because when God chose to enter our space-time dimension in Jesus of Nazareth, his arrival, life, teaching, death, and resurrection were God’s answer to our deepest questions and disappointments. The proof that Yahweh has remembered. As I travel and speak and converse with sceptics I’m constantly reminded that the goal of apologetics is not to convince someone of the truth of a proposition but to introduce them to a person. Jesus is the greatest apologetic for Christianity.
Below is a video link to a recent talk I gave at the Church where I learned to follow Christ: Riverlife Baptist Church (formerly Kenmore Baptist Church). The message is called God for Others and it is a primer on how apologetics can help you make the most of your conversations with neighbours, friends, and family as you point them to Jesus. Questions abound. But far from being an immoveable barrier, I’ve found that questions and doubts are often a doorway through which God draws those whom he loves into contact with the gospel.
For the hundreds of new friends of RZIM Australia reading this who have connected through our events over the past few weeks, before you hit the delete button, scroll down and check out the free resources and our training opportunities at RZIM. We’re passionate to link your head and your heart with biblically faithful and culturally sensitive apologetics all in service to seeing people won to the gospel. And your prayers and partnership enable us by God’s grace to keep sharing the truth and relevance of Jesus amidst a sceptical yet spiritual age. May God richly bless you as the year starts to wind down, and may you experience the beauty and truth of the gospel afresh as you engage in God’s mission and approach Christmas.
For His Glory,
February 11, 2021
December 18, 2020
December 03, 2020