More on Fool’s Talk…

It has been a few days but I wanted to continue with thought’s from Fool’s Talk by Os Guinness.  We left off with his presentation of the problem of hypocrisy and he concludes on page 190 with this:  “Hypocrisy is therefore a very serious problem for the defenders of the faith.  But what exactly is hypocrisy?  Why is it serious, and in what sense does it count against faith?  Are Christians the only hypocrites, or perhaps only the worse?  How are we to counter hypocrisy and achieve some measure of true authenticity?  And what are the special dangers for apologists in countering charges of hypocrisy?”

Os then goes on to discuss the problems of worldliness and forgetting that the Church and State are given different roles by God which raise theirs more problems with hypocrisy.  But for the purpose of this book he focuses on the challenge that hypocrisy brings to those who follow the apologetics of someone like Francis Schaeffer who argued that we should challenge the non-believer to be more consistent to their chosen world view, since only the Christian world view can be consistent with what really exits.  Dr. Guinness admits this type of apologetic actually invites the charge of hypocrisy:  A friend warned him that “arguments cut both ways.  What happens if they push us back and we do not and cannot live up to what we say?  Will we not be shown up as failures at best and hypocrites at worst?”

Os says the answer to that is simple, but challenging:  “If unbelievers are pressed to be consistent to their beliefs and worldviews, and shown up when they cannot be [because their faiths are not finally true], Christians should welcome being pressed in the same way.  The boomerang returns and hits us.  Where unbelievers cannot be consistent, we should be.  If the Christian faith is true and we are shown up for failing to live consistently to it, we must put that right.  We are called to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.  So if we are inconsistent to what we believe, it is we who are wrong and not the faith.  We must therefore work to close the gap between our talk and our walk.  The charge of hypocrisy is painful but bracing.  It is positive if it spurs  us to repentance and then to growth….  Christian growth is a matter of growing closer to our Lord and closer in our alignment with his truth and his way of life.”

Some challenging things to ponder and in future posts I will try to cover the six steps that he suggests in dealing with hypocrisy!  For those who want to read the whole book for themselves, you will find it at this link.

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