The Apologetic of Pointing

The Apologetic of Pointing

Most people don’t feel the need to struggle with Descartes over how they can be sure that they exist. And most don’t doubt the existence of the sun. These things are self-authenticating when one sees them.

And so is Jesus Christ.

He is the supreme I am (John 8:58). He is the “sunrise from on high” (Luke 1:78). He is the most self-authenticating Reality that exists.

But he must be seen. And he must be seen with true eyes, for which the eyes in our heads are but copies and shadows. Paul calls them the eyes of the heart in Ephesians 1:18 or the eyes of the mind in 2 Corinthians 4:4. These eyes are designed to see reality, what we call the truth. And they either see truth or, if the god of this world has his way, they instead see a counterfeit posing as the truth:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:3–4)

Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), which is also why he is called the Word (John 1:1) and the light of the world (John 1:5). But seeing Jesus with true eyes only happens when people behold him in (or through) the truth he speaks — “the light of the gospel.”

That’s why the most effective apologetic approach that most of us can employ is what Philip used to counter Nathaniel’s skepticism: “Come and see” (John 1:46). We use the apologetic of pointing people to the self-authenticating revelation of Jesus Christ in the Bible.

This is why John Piper wrote the book, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ

What I have tried to do in this book is to put the biblical portrait of Jesus on display. I have not argued for it historically. Others have done that better than I could, and I rejoice in their work. I have tried to be faithful to what the Bible really says about Jesus Christ. As imperfect as my writing is, compared to Scripture itself, I still hope that reading these thirteen chapters [will be] like viewing a diamond through thirteen different facets. The Bible itself is the only authoritative description of the diamond of Jesus Christ. I hope in the end you will turn from this book to the Bible. That is why I have saturated these short chapters with Scripture. (121–122)

This book can be used with Christians and non-Christians. We’re making it available by the case for a low suggested donation to help you use the apologetic of pointing so that others will see the Word that is the Truth that is the Life that is the Light of men. May this book help you seize the Christmas moment to point others to the self-authenticating I am.

Jon Bloom (@Bloom_Jon) is the author of Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith and serves as the President of Desiring God, which he and John Piper launched together in 1994. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Pam, their five children, and one naughty dog.