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Archive for the ‘Alexander Strauch’ Category

If you bite and Devour

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

Certainly a Christian apologist should be contending for the faith–but that does not mean they have to be contentious.  And being contentious is a pitfall that the Christian apologist might be more tempted with than others brothers in Christ and and this is a good book addressing this sin. The author Alexander Strauch is able to write this book with a pastoral heart. Addresses the issue of Christian and conflict. Admonishes the believers to act in the Spirit, love and humility, while controlling anger, tongue and criticism and pursing reconciliation and peace. A good work for the pastor to use for counseling with a believer on addressing conflicts biblically. Also has two chapters on facing false teachers and controversy respectively, which balances the book lest one thinks that a Christian should avoid conflict at all costs, even at the expense of the Gospel. Balance book, and convicting. Don’t forget to also read the appendix–which I appreciated and wish he would develop it into a chapter length, focusing on how sanctification occurs with our union with Christ. Recommended!

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I read this in Alexander Strauch’s book, “If you Bite and Devour One Another” that is a book on Biblical principles in handling conflict, and there is a quote that I thought was relevant for those engaging in defending the Christian faith:

If we put on the new clothes of Christlike character, it not only makes a difference in our church conduct, but can touch the hearts of those who are hostile toward the gospel.  When a well-known Christian apologist met with a group of college students to answer questions about the Christian faith, one student was particularly antagonistic toward the gospel message.  In past meetings he had often provoked Christians into angry debate.  Throughout the discussion, this young skeptic did everything in his power to bait the apologist and disrupt the meeting, but the apologist remained calm and responded kindly, patiently, and gently (1 Cor. 13:4, 2 Tim. 2:24-26).

At the end of the evening, impressed by the apologist’s gracious demeanor, the young man asked to meet one-on-one to talk more about the faith.  If the apologist had lost control of his anger, he likely would have lost the opportunity to speak with this young man and would have negatively impacted the rest of the audience.  Here is a wonderful example of handling conflict–not with anger–but with love, humility, and by the power of the Spirit.

(Page 61)

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