I first encountered Hans when he was preaching in his previous church. Ours was not a love at first sight. I was, however, given "an understanding at first hearing."
I love learning from him then, and I love learning from him now. Hans has a way of explaining complicated things, making them simple and accessible. He is clear and logical and precise, skills that do not come naturally for me. And now that we are married, I have the benefit of knowing that he teaches me because he loves me.
Hans is currently teaching Christian apologetics in his Sunday school
class. He kindly gives his wife summaries of his lessons every now and
then, because I am usually with the boys when he is teaching.
A few Sundays ago, I asked Hans what is the use of Christian apolegetics. Does it do any lasting good to be able to defend the truth of the Gospel or the reliability of Scripture? All this talk about evidence and presuppositions — do people actually come to faith by being proven that they have been wrong all their lives?
I came across the testimony of Nabeel Qureshi today. Nabeel grew up in the United States, in an extremely devout Muslim home. His mother came from a long line of missionaries of Islam and he was taught to be an ambassador for Islam from a young age. But Christ revealed himself to Nabeel and his life in Christ revives a desire in me to better explain and defend my faith. He reminds me why the Gospel is worth dying for.
In his testimony, Nabeel talks about his best friend David. He was the first person who provided some answers to Nabeel's attacks against Christianity. David's response was unexpected and his friendship was genuine. "From that point on, we did everything together... In that context of friendship, I know that he is going to take a bullet for me if the time ever arises, and I would do the same for him. So when he shares the Gospel with me, and when he tries to tear down my faith, I know he is doing it because he loves me."
Theirs was a love that was truly tolerant.
Tim Keller said in a sermon, “Truth without love is imperious
self-righteousness. Love without truth is cowardly self-indulgence.” Christian apologetics is a useful tool, but only when it comes from mouths that speak the truth with love, and from hearts that are ever so aware of the grace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.