Did you know that if a 4 year old boy full of testosterone and energy runs at you full steam it is best to keep an eye on him? Having raised 4 children, you would think that kind of detail would not have left my long term memory.
My wife and I serve every other Sunday teaching the 4 and 5 year old’s at church, and this past Sunday we took them out to the back playground for a bit. At least I think they are 4 & 5 year old’s. I think it says that on the door to our Sunday school room, and they are all about thigh high on me, which seems about right for a 4 & 5 year old child.
In my experience, I have found that if you let them run amok (I mean, left them play in an orderly, non-violent fashion) for a few minutes prior to sitting them at the table to do a craft, they seem to be this >< much more attentive. If you don’t understand my >< symbol, it refers to a very small amount, but when you are herding cats or dealing with 4 and 5 year old’s, any improvement with behavior, no matter how miniscule, even at the sub atomic level, is a blessing.
So, we were out in the back playground and I was playing the giant bearded ogre who wanted to eat small children. I was thoroughly enjoying the my part in the chaotic scene, when one of the boys, (who will remain unnamed until the law suit is public), decided it was time to kick this ogre ass. Can I say ass in a Christian blog? Anyway, I am still unsure what the switch was that triggered in his brain to move him from running in terror, fleeing for his very life, to suddenly become a warrior in the Lord of the Rings with a mission to kill all orks and ogre’s, especially ones that want to eat small children who are running amok during Sunday school.
I was chasing him, slightly bent over, with my arms reaching out Frankenstein style, when I heard a piercing scream from the left. One of the girls was announcing her presence in the usual way, by attempting to break any crystal wine glasses within a 2 mile proximity. I looked left and hesitated for a moment, thinking, once the deafening scream was over, she was a potential target, but then resumed my chase after the small boy. In the moment I looked left and hesitated, the small boy I was chasing had turned one hundred and eighty degrees ninja style and was charging full steam at me with his hand raised in an obvious attempt to rescue the young lady in distress.
He managed to run between my long Frankenstein arms and land a punch that would have rocked Goliath to his rear.
Please note, f you take a small boy’s fist and ram it into an adult male’s eye, it is just about a perfect fit for the eye socket. In fact, if given enough velocity, (my running forward and his running toward me), for a moment the small fist will actually take the position of the eyeball. One might ask, where the eyeball goes when a small child’s fist takes the eyeball’s rightful position. Honestly I am not sure, but I have this 2D image, (remember it was only one eyeball) of the inner workings of my brain. So I can only conclude that my eyeball moved with the same velocity from what it thought was its permanent position, (housed securely in my eye socket), to my brain.
If you think that is bizarre, I actually heard the squish of my eyeball being replaced with the fist of a small boy. I am not kidding! I actually heard it! The only thing I can think of which would be a comparable sound would be if you took off your shoes and socks and began to stomp excessively fat snails on your kitchen cutting board. I have not attempted to duplicate the sound in this manner, and I would not suggest any men try with your wife near by, but it should give you a visual hearing aid, (pun intended).
I never knew you could hear your eyeball squish. In fact, I never even wondered if an individual could hear their eyeball squish. I mean, who even thinks about those kinds of things? Thinking I could be on to some kind of valuable scientific discovery, I contacted the three top Biological Science Universities, (Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley) and described my experience, culminating in hearing the squish of my eyeball. Stanford and Harvard transferred me to the psychology department, but Berkeley encouraged me to apply.
What does this have to do with apologetics? Very little really, but tapping out this brief story helped me to forget the slight eye ache I have, and to encourage you to consider reading about apologetics. What is apologetics? Well, it is not apologizing for your faith. Apologetics stems from the Greek word ‘apologia’ which means, “to give a defense”.
Josh McDowell wrote, “One thing that has especially appealed to me is that the Christian faith is not a blind, ignorant belief but rather an intelligent faith. Every time in the Bible when a person is called upon to exercise faith, it’s an intelligent faith.
Christ was asked, ‘What is the greatest commandment of all?’ He answered, ‘To love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind.’
The problem with most people is that they seem to stop with their hearts. The facts about Christ never get to their minds. We’ve been given a mind innovated by the Holy Spirit to know God, as well as a heart to love him and a will to choose hm. We need to function in all three areas to have a maximum relation ship with God and to glorify him.”1
As I continue to read ‘A Manual for Creating Atheists‘, I am encouraged by what I have learned in the past two years. I recognize many of the logical fallacies and assumptions that are made within the book, and I also quickly realized had I not been studying apologetics for the past couple years, reading ‘A Manual for Creating Atheists’ would have seriously damaged my faith.
Boghossian wants to create ‘Street Epistemologists’. Epistemology is the study of knowledge, and it is a play on Street Evangelists. Boghossian redefines faith as, “Pretending to know things you don’t know” 2 He makes the same mistake that many Christians do, placing faith against knowledge. As if the more knowledge you have, the less faith you need. For example, if you have 90% knowledge of something you are left with 10% faith. Then if you have 60% knowledge you now have 40% faith. But if you think about it, you gain faith by knowledge. The opposite of faith is not knowledge, it is unbelief, and the opposite of knowledge is ignorance.
I was ignorant to the dangers of chasing small boys, but my faith in the Christian world view is unshaken, despite the fact that a four year old boy can take me out.
1. McDowell, Josh. The Best of Josh McDowell, A ready Defense. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993. Print.
2. Boghossian, Peter. A Manual For Creating Atheists. Durham: Pitchstone Publishing, 2013. Print.