Samuel Nesan, is one of Malaysia’s few full-time apologists who does his best to teach and educate Christians all over Malaysia ways to defend the Christian faith. In An Apologetics for All Part 1, we got a brief background, about him and his work. In this second part we continue with a cliff-hanger of a question.
“If Jesus is the answer, what is the question?”
“The question took Jose off guard. And that encounter showed him that he was always interested in giving the answer without first hearing the question. That sharing from that lecturer has a great impact on my life. This is because, like him, I tend to give answers instead of listening to the question first. And this is the basis of apologetics,” Samuel explained.
Samuel gave the example of how many Christians shared the gospel to unbelievers as the answer or the way to avoid hell. But as Samuel discovered, many unbelievers aren’t interested in hearing the gospel from that point of view. In fact, many who come to Christ or are interested to hear about the gospel are never motivated by the fear of hell. Some may not believe in it, while others may just accept it, as some religions do, as part of a cycle of rebirth.
“In one case there was an unbeliever who answered that he wasn’t afraid to go there, as he wanted to join his grandfather there. It turned out that the guy was grieving for the recent loss of his grandfather. So, sitting down and listening to what the person wanted to ask help to open a way to share the gospel with him. What really bothered him, was this question; ‘why would a good God take my grandfather away in such a manner?’ That is where Jesus can come in as the real answer to the person’s suffering. I then presented the truth that Christ is a partaker in our suffering, that while we are suffering, Christ suffered for us, and bore our pain with us. So you see we are giving the right remedy for the wound instead of scratching elsewhere,” Samuel explained.
He added that we can’t just have a standard answer for accepting the gospel because the gospel is about answering the questions of the seekers’ soul.
“Each person comes from a different background, culturally and in their religious beliefs. Maybe for a Buddhist, it is about the resurrection against their cycle of reincarnation. For a Muslim, it is explaining the concept of the Trinity, for a Hindu, why Christ is the only way,” Samuel explained.
Samuel said because of the importance of apologetics, he plans to start teaching churches in Malaysia the art of apologetics.
“What I am most interested in doing is going to churches to equip the saints on how to do apologetics, not just to give them answers. Because of that, I am planning to start mentoring sessions. I did this last year as well. I am interested to go to churches wherever I am invited. This is because I want to impart to them the skill on how to do it. One of the churches in Subang, Acts Church, is giving me 17 sessions from March to November. There will be questions and answers sessions in the classes. It will also involve coursework and doing their own research,” he explained.
Samuel stated that he is open to any church that wants to invite him for apologetics talks.
“I am more than happy if a church invites me to come over and see if I could do a session,” Samuel explained that the more people he can teach, the better it is for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God.
As such, Samuel hopes to inspire others to learn and educate themselves with the discipline of apologetics to strengthen their own faith and to share it with others.
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