“Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, ‘My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.’ When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.” (Acts 23:6&7 NIV84)

A ruckus developed in Jerusalem because Paul had arrived into town and he was considered enemy number one.  He was a strict Pharisee who, according to the Jews, had committed the most vile treason when he converted to Christianity.  They nearly killed him the day before.  If it weren’t for Roman soldiers stepping in, he would have been dead.  But today, he stands before his accusers and the shrewdest idea comes into his mind.  Before him stand two groups of Jews:  Pharisees who believe in the resurrection and Sadducees who do not believe in the resurrection.  So, what does he do?  He tells them all that he stands on trial before them because of his hope in the resurrection.  Although this is an absolutely true statement by Paul, he also knows that it will incite an argument between his accusers.  What better way to tear down the argument of those opposing you but by getting them into an argument with themselves?  That’s exactly what happens.

My apologetic take away is that I have learned that I can do more damage to my opponents by staying in their worldview rather than by slinging mine at them.  They will not decide to come to the truths of God’s Word because we shove it down their throats.  I think the best approach is to keep the discussion in their worldview until they are feeling like there might need to be another option.  The goal is to get them to argue within themselves about their own worldview.  Once you have them to that point, they are then ready to see what solution a differing worldview might have to offer.

It’s all right if we are shrewd with the truths of God’s Word.


Pastor Tom

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