How should a book be organized? I just finished reading the Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli. When I got to the end, it occurred to me that the end should have been at the beginning.
What did the authors put up front? It was proper and perhaps the best thing. The title of the first chapter is: “The Nature, Power, & Limitations of Apologetics”. Since most people probably don’t even know the meaning of the word apologetics, that chapter has to be up front. Still, when we don’t know where we would be headed, there is not much reason to start the trip. I suppose that is why some people check out the last chapter before they buy the book.
What is at the end of this book? The authors call that chapter “The Bottom Line”. It is about the four steps to becoming a Christian.
- The first step is mental belief. This is the point of apologetics. This is why Kreeft and Tacelli wrote their book.
- Next is repentance. Once we believe in Jesus Christ we turn from sin.
- After repentance, we must put our faith in Jesus. Whereas repentance involves turning from sin, faith requires us to turn toward Jesus.
- Finally, we must live out the teachings of Jesus Christ.
How do we put all that more succinctly? I believe Pastor Randy
Colossians 3:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Once we believe in Jesus, that He is real, that He is our savior, then we must make Colossians 3:16 central to our life. Then we must accomplish what Kreeft and Tacelli call steps 2 – 4.