My thoughts on the Ravi scandal

In terms of the actual Ravi scandal, the man is guilty and few deny it. When it first broke, when he was still alive, we called it. I stopped following him in the late 2000s because when you are dealing with tough intellectual issues such as substance, hypostasis, etc., he didn’t have anything to offer. This post really isn’t about Ravi, though. It’s more of how not to go wrong about apologetics.

When people tell me they want to be an apologist (and they are always really young guys–hey, I made this mistake, too), and ask me for advice, this is what I tell them:

1) Don’t do apologetics for at least two years. You don’t know anything. That sounds mean, but it is true.
2) Spend the next ten years reading as much of the church fathers, medievals, scholastics as you can. This will keep you from sounding shallow and offering sound bytes.
3) Learn the Socratic dialogue. I’ve read through almost all of Plato’s dialogues. Your goal isn’t to one-up an argument, but to cultivate virtue and lead people to the truth.
4) Learn what your local church needs in apologetics, if anything. Submit 100% to their oversight, unless it is a creepy cultic church.
5) Cultivate intellectual virtue by avoiding the quick, easy answer. This might mean you might not get the answer for a couple months. You might have to forgo the next hot book off the Reformed conference media and spend more money on an academic work. That’s good. It will teach you patience and humility (and you will learn FAR more).

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One thought on “My thoughts on the Ravi scandal

  1. If you argue with the world using the ways of the world, the battle is already lost. It is not human argumentation that win the soul. It is the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When people forget this fact, you will end up with pseudo-Christian converts who come to the faith through intellectual assent, but without genuine repentance and commitment.

    1 Corinthians 1:26-31
    1 Corinthians 3:18-23
    2 Corinthians 10:4-5

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