Does Titus 3:9 discourage apologetic debates?

According to Paul's advice in his letter to Titus, we should "avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless". Could this be extrapolated to modern-day apologetic debates?

When I watch all these apologists (William Lane Craig, David Wood etc.) engaging in hours upon hours of debates against debaters of other faiths, it makes me wonder what the point is.

Is it really likely for members of the audience to convert from one religion to another based on how persuasive a debater is? Does this usually happen?
 

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
"...avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless".

The key here is the word "foolish". Apologetics is defending the true faith against false heresies, especially those heresies which will send someone to hell. There are some, maybe many, arguments that are useless, but defending the nature of Jesus, His deity, sacrifice and resurrection are central to Christianity. Those are beliefs that you have to get right. Your eternal destiny depends on it. Many of the cults will argue meaningless things (Mormons/geneology), Bible versions, gifts, etc. So, a large measure of discernment is needed to know what is foolish and unprofitable and what is vital.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
I agree with Ron: the proper understanding of Titus 3:9 hangs on the word "foolish".

However, I see Lucian's (by the way, welcome to Rapture Forums, Lucian) point— nobody is ever converted to Christ by argument, regardless of how persuasive it may be. Only the Holy Spirit can draw a person to Christ. That said, we never know what God will use to draw a heart. Sometimes it is a point that the person had never considered before, or that he or she had never seen in a particular light before, or that happened to strike deep into an unmet need. God knows what each soul He has created needs in order to come to him and He WILL use whatever it takes to draw that one. I personally can find some of the incessant arguments in apologetics tiresome; however, God will take what He wants and use it how he wants. And, after all, is anything more important than souls being saved?
 

so-blessed

Well-Known Member
I personally can find some of the incessant arguments in apologetics tiresome; however, God will take what He wants and use it how he wants. And, after all, is anything more important than souls being saved?
Agree. Having seen Ken Ham debate online a few times, every time he replied to the unbelievers question with "Well, the bible says" and the unbeliever saying they don't care because they don't believe what the bible says, often seems like flogging a dead horse. But as long as the Gospel is preached we know that is the power of salvation to those that believe. Romans 1:16. Never ever a waste of time.
 

Steve53

Well-Known Member
Agree. Having seen Ken Ham debate online a few times, every time he replied to the unbelievers question with "Well, the bible says" and the unbeliever saying they don't care because they don't believe what the bible says, often seems like flogging a dead horse. But as long as the Gospel is preached we know that is the power of salvation to those that believe. Romans 1:16. Never ever a waste of time.
Isaiah 55:11
 

Reason & Hope

Active Member
Agree. Having seen Ken Ham debate online a few times, every time he replied to the unbelievers question with "Well, the bible says" and the unbeliever saying they don't care because they don't believe what the bible says, often seems like flogging a dead horse. But as long as the Gospel is preached we know that is the power of salvation to those that believe. Romans 1:16. Never ever a waste of time.
Much better apologists for reaching people who don't trust the Bible yet are: Ravi Zacharias, Frank Turek, Stuart Macallister, J. Warner Wallace.

Apologetics does two things: it removes barriers in the mind of the unbeliever, and it encourages the believer. In my journey from atheist to Christian, I needed to know that faith in Jesus was not just superstition, but had a rational basis. In today's secular society, people are taught that Jesus wasn't even a real person and that science "disproves" the Bible. Apologists show that those are lies, enabling people who desire the truth to find relationship with The Truth.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Apologetics does two things: it removes barriers in the mind of the unbeliever, and it encourages the believer. In my journey from atheist to Christian, I needed to know that faith in Jesus was not just superstition, but had a rational basis. In today's secular society, people are taught that Jesus wasn't even a real person and that science "disproves" the Bible. Apologists show that those are lies, enabling people who desire the truth to find relationship with The Truth.
Excellent answer! Thank you.
 

so-blessed

Well-Known Member
Much better apologists for reaching people who don't trust the Bible yet are: Ravi Zacharias, Frank Turek, Stuart Macallister, J. Warner Wallace.

Apologetics does two things: it removes barriers in the mind of the unbeliever, and it encourages the believer. In my journey from atheist to Christian, I needed to know that faith in Jesus was not just superstition, but had a rational basis. In today's secular society, people are taught that Jesus wasn't even a real person and that science "disproves" the Bible. Apologists show that those are lies, enabling people who desire the truth to find relationship with The Truth.
I too came from being an atheist to Christ via my now husband's apologetics and he says he didn't now he could do it! The Lord enabled him when he needed it.
Actually my point was simply to answer the comment above about the debates to and fro sometimes seem tiresome. From where we sit they can seem it but nothing is wasted in furtherance of the Gospel coz I know I sure argued with everything I was told during that witness - a lot! But the Lord in His grace kept DH persevering
 

SueD.

Active Member
My thought has been that in the course of discussion on here or elsewhere -- a person never knows what's going to be the key for someone else's believing. And we never know who is simply reading through threads of conversation and not join in but something Does 'click' in their heart and they turn to Christ.
 

TRex2

Well-Known Member
My thought has been that in the course of discussion on here or elsewhere -- a person never knows what's going to be the key for someone else's believing. And we never know who is simply reading through threads of conversation and not join in but something Does 'click' in their heart and they turn to Christ.
Not conversion to Christ, as I have been a Christian for almost 50 years, but I learned a lot from reading through threads on RR, especially about assurance of salvation.
 

Kerbluey

Well-Known Member
It’s more than just salvation. I used to be deep into charismatic and Word of Faith beliefs. Watching people debate both subjects from both sides on Todd’s Rapture Ready forum is what opened my eyes. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of apologetic debates. I’m forever greatful God used real life and online debates to free me from that horrible prison.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
Excellent thread. Debates would not be needed if good discernment is utilized. Problem with many who believe in Jesus is they dont read the Bible, and in many cases, they dont know why they believe.

Discernment:


1 John 4:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Philippians 1:9-10
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

Hebrews 5:14
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
 
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