Stand for the truth firmly but with gentleness

I have often shared the idea that Christian truth has to be presented with gentleness and respect or “reverence” (based on 1 Peter 3:15–16). We are not going to force our beliefs on others, and we must be seasonably salty with our speech. Coming across as a know-it-all expert, without humility, is going to turn many people off. On the other hand, a namby-pamby (insecure) approach is also not effective. Here is an excerpt from a book titled Every Thought Captive: A Study Manual for the Defense of Christian Truth by Richard L. Pratt, Jr.

Gentle Firmness

It seems inevitable that Christians will come to a non-Christian with too much firmness or too much gentleness. We have seen that Peter says that we should defend the faith with “gentleness” (1 Peter 3:15) and Paul told Timothy “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition” (2 Timothy 2:25). . . . Believers need to be reminded of the firmness they must have. Gentleness must not compromise but hold firmly to the reliability of the Word of Christ. . . . The gentle firmness of biblical apologetics may be compared to the careful guidance of a loving friend leading a blind friend to the one place of safety in this world: the safety of Christ.

P & R Publishing, 1980, p. 66.


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