Easter and Apologetics

Gordon Fee, 1 Corinthians, page 760:

There is a place for apologetics, that is, the defense of Christianity to the unconverted; but Easter is not that place.

Easter, which should be celebrated more frequently in the church, and not just at the Easter season, calls for our reaffirming the faith to the converted. The resurrection of Christ has determined our existence for all time and eternity.

We do not merely live out our length of days and then have the hope as an addendum; rather, as Paul makes plain in this passage [1 Cor. 15:20–28], Christ’s resurrection has set in motion a chain of inexorable events that absolutely determines our present and our future. Christ is the first fruits of those who are his, who will be raised at his coming. That ought both to reform the way we currently live and to reshape our worship into seasons of unbridled joy.

Amen to that last paragraph.

But what about the first two paragraphs? Do you agree? Disagree? Should Easter morning be used for apologetics?

I see Fee’s point, but I’m not sure the unbridled joy of Easter for the believer should eliminate any apologetical use of the sermon (I think of Acts 17:30–31).

But what say you?

4 thoughts on “Easter and Apologetics

  1. I appreciate what he’s saying about Easter and apologetics, but I can’t agree. We live in a world where the resurrection is increasingly assummed to be a fable, a nice fiction to help us live our lives better. And far too few Christians can properly answer that.

    When better to remind our people that the resurrection is no happy fable than when Easter us on everyone’s tongue? (Well, maybe a couple of weeks earlier would be good.)

  2. IMHO it depends which apologetic you’re talking about. I don’t think it’s the place for the argument that it is more likely than not that parts of the NT reflect very early traditions rooted in eyewitness testimony, and that those eyewitnesses are more likely to be truth-tellers than liars or hallucinators. But Easter IS the place for proclaiming the resurrected, self-attesting Christ of Scripture as the only possible foundation of a world-and-life-view.

  3. Lewis said: A man can’t be always defending the truth; there must be a time to feed on it.

    However, I think as we feed on it at Easter, we are doing apologetics. Isn’t the best defense of marriage a husband who makes much of his wife in front of reluctant singles?

    Of course I am a presuppositionalist, so I can’t help myself sometimes!



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