monday a group of point citizens and students started gardening on some land owned by the city. today after a couple of meetings between the group and the mayor that gardening was forcibly ended. you can read the stevens point journal article concerning the matter here. my post here is not to argue for the gardeners or the city (i have mixed feelings – i don’t think anyone has the right to trespass on someone else’s property unless it is an emergency but i don’t really understand why the city won’t allow an interested group to beautify a city owned lot that has been vacant for as long as i have lived in point – thus i am squarely in the middle). instead i want to talk about something eric g told me about.
eric knows that i am fascinated by groups like these rogue gardeners. i like people who are passionate about something. actually i prefer being around someone who is passionate about something that i disagree with than being around someone who is blasé on pretty much everything. passionate people do things and i like that.
so eric called me about the group just to make sure that i knew about them and then to ask if i wanted to go over with him and listen to the group for awhile. unfortunately for me i wasn’t able to. eric went there anyway. when he got there he saw i guy that he knew from a local church talking/debating with the gardeners. he drew close to the group and heard one of rogue gardeners say to the guy he knew,
what you are saying is a CHRISTian argument and the problem with it is that WE AREN’T CHRISTIANS!
i would love to know how the guy responded but unfortunately i don’t.
i have been around when people tried to prove something from the bible to a person who didn’t believe that the bible has any special authority. it’s like trying to prove a point while speaking spanish to a group that only speaks english. so that you know where i come from i believe that the bible is GOD’s word and i believe that it is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” still i recognize that others do not and since i believe that JESUS is “the way, the truth, and the life” and that all truth, no matter the subject, comes from HIM i am therefore convinced that we should be able to communicate with people who do not believe that scripture comes from GOD. paul found truth that pointed to GOD at mars hill and used it to proclaim CHRIST (acts 17:16-34) and since then many have followed his example and found elements of truth in the culture around them that helped point people to the good news of JESUS’ kingdom. this is part of what the study of CHRISTian apologetics is about. this DOES NOT mean that we who are believers in JESUS should look to other sources for the bedrock authority of our lives but it does mean that we need to be prepared “to give an answer for the reason of [our] hope” to those who do not hold scripture as authoritative and our answer needs to be in a language that they understand.
SIDE NOTE – you get one chance to guess which person in the above photo is the mayor. if you get it wrong please do us all a favor and slap yourself repeatedly in the head.