12 July 2009

On Philosophical Apologetics

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "The Weaned Child," an undated sermon delivered at the Met Tab and published in 1875.

"Oh, but really one ought to be acquainted with all the phases of modern doubt."

es, and how many hours in a day ought a man to give to that kind of thing? Twenty-five out of the twenty-four would hardly be sufficient, for the phases of modern thought are innumerable, and every fool who sets up for a philosopher sets up a new scheme; and I am to spend my time in going about to knock his cardhouses over?

Not I! I have something else to do; and so has every Christian minister. He has real doubts to deal with, which vex true hearts; he has anxieties to relieve in converted souls, and in minds that are pining after the truth and the right; he has these to meet, without everlastingly tilting at windmills, and running all over the country to put down every scarecrow which learned simpletons may set up.

We shall soon defile ourselves if we work day after day in the common sewers of scepticism. Brethren, there is a certain highway of truth in which you and I, like wayfaring men, feel ourselves safe, let us travel thereon.

C. H. Spurgeon


JOYce ~♥~ said...


donsands said...

"..without everlastingly tilting at windmills, and running all over the country to put down every scarecrow which learned simpletons may set up."

The prince of preachers says it like no other.

Thanks for this short, but packed, quote.

Our sermon today was on Romans 3:19-31, which this was the heart: "..whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith."

Our pastor said, "I love the word propitiation." He then explained it's meaning.

How many pastors will say that today?

God bless.

Julius Mickel said...

That's it! Christ and Him crucified.
Hey Phil last year (me and my wife as our anniversary trip) went to a conference at Pastor Curt Daniels church and took home a box full of free materials including the conference set you were in (very good). Curt Daniels also did an excellent job on defining apologetics.
It can be a consuming and overwhelming pursuit (and many take away from the sufficiency of scripture). I used to listen to men like Ravi and think 'wish i knew what he knew' not because i was convinced it was more effective but because I envied the prestige of intelligience.

ChrisMattG said...

Yeah! Thats what I like to hear.

Frank Turk said...

I have it on good authority that Tony Jones objects.

He lives for the 25th hour of the day.

Chris said...

That was excellent. Thanks for the post.

Jeff said...

Amen, amen and amen!

There is no shortage of doubt and skepticism in the church today; what is needed is true faith.

Thanks for this much-needed reminder that we shall soil ourselves with unbelief if we labor too long in the sewer of philosophical doubt.

Anonymous said...

Great point. My questions would be, how does one discern when to ignore the card houses, and the empty useless philosophies...and when to pick a fight (so to speak). There are times to make a defense (Spurgeon did this masterfully) of truth against specific errors and lies. But yet there are also occasions in which it is a waste of valuable time. How do we know the difference?

Anonymous said...

Amen. Why doesn't anybody talk like him anymore. It all goes down so smooth.

John said...

@ ulfbiggorilla
Good question. As a pastor, I think the deciding point is often determined by what your flock is struggling with - for example, Piper's stance against Wright. One flock might need to be reminded of the foolishness of Emergent, while another flock might need a polemic against healthy/wealth/prosperity. It all depends.

Citizen Grim said...

In other words, it may not be profitable to debate atheists in the comments of YouTube videos?

Mark B. Hanson said...


When I am dealing with individuals, I often use the question, "If I gave you a satisfactory answer to this question, will you become a Christian? Or at least seriously consider it?"

Those who find the issue a roadblock to faith will often agree that a satisfactory answer will help them on the way.

The "swine" (Jesus' words, not mine), will laugh and say no. They are trying to tie me in knots, not untangle their own.

Anonymous said...

Mark B,

I like that one. Thanks

John, good thoughts as well.

Michael said...

Will somebody send this post to William Lane Craig?!