Last week, I began a discussion of the Old Testament figure Nehemiah.
While serving as cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah was rocked by news that the city of Jerusalem was devastated. The walls of the city were broken down and the gates had been burned. The news was enough to drive Nehemiah to tears. In the presence of the king, he wore his feelings on his face, leading to an inquiry. Nehemiah made a quick prayer to God for wisdom.
Nehemiah had a prayer but not a plan. He made a request to the king that he be allowed to rebuild the city, which the kings grants. Do you realize what a request that is? A refortified city could be a dangerous thing, a base of power in the region which could be used against the king. It’s a testimony of the trust and the esteem King Artaxerxes had in Nehemiah that the request and the mission was authorized so quickly.
“Mark, why are you a Christian Apologist?” If you want to know the truth, I volunteered for the job. I gravitated toward apologetics after becoming a Christian. This was before I even knew that it was called apologetics. However, mature and prayerful reflection on the situation of the church as a whole and my spiritual gifts of teaching and leadership in particular have confirmed what I believe is the calling of God to pursue this work. I began my work and study with Reasons To Believe, the leading international science and faith think tank. I now serve as president of a local chapter of that group. I’ve been blessed to speak in several churches (I would like more opportunities in that area) and teach in my own church many times. Facebook and independent blogging have allowed me to communicate with my articles to people around the world.