“We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.” (Stott, 15-16) This was penned in 1970. Alexander Campbell once famously said of our Lord:
“(T)he Prince of Peace never sheathed the sword of the Spirit while he lived. He drew it on the banks of the Jordan and threw the scabbard away.” (“Religious Controversy”). This was written in the 1830’s. I go into much greater detail for all of this in my book, Graceful Reason, in the chapter entitled, “The Case for Militant Christianity.” To clear the air, I am not suggesting that we must mount some sort of military offensive, or to be unkind, ugly, or uncouth in our dealings with people. I am merely suggesting that an aggressive and well-reasoned defense of truth must be used against those who would challenge us today. As a matter of fact, in 2017, J. Warner Wallace, LA Homicide Detective and former atheist, says: “We are a largely anti-intellectual group, even though the history of Christianity is replete with some of the greatest thinkers who ever lived. In spite of our rich intellectual history, we have arrived at a point where there is a need to make a case for making a case.” (Forensic Faith, 23)
Wallace makes a distinction between accidental belief and evidential trust. As you can easily surmise from the three citations I have given you, Christianity has always needed to be defended against its antagonists. However, with the almost universal influence of “Postmodernism” today (which is a denial of all absolutes and any objective truth or knowledge), the anti-intellectual atmosphere has become much more pronounced. This was the reason why I wrote “The Case for Militant Christianity” over 30 years ago. And, I have not changed my mind about the need for it today.
To make it more Biblically solid, I argue that We must be militant in our Christianity because: (1) our Lord was militant in proclaiming and defending truth; (2) His closest followers were militant in their proclamation and defense of the truth; and (3) we are commanded to be militant in our proclamation and defense of the truth. Once again, I mean by this terminology that we must be as aggressive and forthcoming with our stance, as those are who oppose us. Since the unbelieving world (Marxists, Islamists, Atheists, Agnostics, and Secularists) has become increasingly aggressive, we must rise to meet their challenge. This is not the time for us to close the doors to the outside world, huddle inside our comfortable meeting houses, and spend our time “Amening” ourselves! Instead, it is past time for us to confront men everywhere with the claims of the gospel, so that they may be permitted to make a rational decision to follow the Lord.
Campbell, Alexander. “Religious Controversy.” The Millenial Harbinger, 1830. Vol. 1: Joplin College, n.d.
Stott, John R. W. Christ the Controversialist. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1970.
Wallace, J. Warner. Forensic Faith.: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2017.