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June 17, 2013

Comments

J Warner -

I think you're making a distinction without a difference between "personal testimony" and what you refer to as "case-making."

The testimony of God that we have inside of us (1 John 5:10) is that God has given us eternal life (1 John 5:11). So as we share details of where, when, how, and what God's completed gift of eternal life has manifested in our lives ("personal testimony"), it is God's testimony of eternal life in us that we are relating. Like a witness in a court case, our testimony serves as part of a multi-layered approach to establishing the atonement and resurrection as true events, affirming and confirming the Gospel.

We present a facet of the case for the Gospel just as much when we are sharing personal testimony of its power to save, quoting and defending Scripture, formulating logical arguments, or presenting extra-Biblical history. I would say syllogisms and personal anecdotes are equally Gospel case-making, albeit in different forms. And I would say this particularly in light of 1 John 5:9-12.

Another way to make this point is by extending the courtroom analogy:

Christ the Advocate is building His case for the Gospel with perfect wisdom such that all men are "without excuse." Occasionally He calls on us to testify on His behalf. When we speak about "what we have seen and heard," it is God building His case of the Gospel for the salvation of all who believe.

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