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What Is the Point of Contact?

In another video, we spoke about the antithesis, the sharp distinction between believers and unbelievers. That distinction is covenantal, absolute, and ethical. We also spoke about how that distinction is not ontological. That is, believers and unbelievers all are still human beings.

That leads us to the question of the point of contact. Some people might wonder: if there’s such a distinction an absolute ethical and covenantal antithesis between believers and unbelievers, what do we have in common? How could we even speak with one another? How could a believer communicate with an unbeliever in the hopes of engaging them for the sake of Christ, sharing the gospel with them, praying for them, and hoping that the Lord would come and send his Spirit to work in their lives to redeem them from their sins and to regenerate them?

The point of contact is a theological principle or a concept that we use in Reformed apologetics to speak about the place where the believer and the unbeliever may meet. Quite simply, the point of contact is found in the image of God. All human beings are image bearers. That’s not just something that they have but it is something that they are. We are made in the image of God, and that image is ineradicable. It cannot be removed. It cannot be destroyed. If someone is a human being, they forever will be made in and continuing in the image of God.

Of course, when Adam fell into sin, he and all mankind were damaged. He was condemned and corrupted, and that corruption extends to the full man. We are not as corrupt as we could be, but we are corrupted fully throughout us. We are totally depraved, though not as some would say, utterly depraved.

Nevertheless, there is still an image of God and God’s word still touches and communicates to all who are made in God’s image. Every person retains a measure of moral and ethical faculties in their heart of hearts. They have a conscience, and they know what is right and wrong. Even in Romans Paul writes how the Works of the law have been written even on the hearts of Gentiles.

So no matter what people might do, how they might live their lives, how they might profess with their mouth, what they might say, or how much they might try to suppress the truth in unrighteousness, there’s always a point of contact. As Christian apologists, we need not be ashamed when seeking to provide a defense for the reason for the hope that we have within us. We need not fear because we know so long as we’re speaking with the human being and that there is a point of contact even though we may find ourselves on the other side of an absolute ethical antithesis.

You should have no hope in being able to defend the faith to dogs or cats (certainly not cats!) or other types of animals. But with human beings made in the image of God (and every human being is made and persists in the image of God) we may find this point of contact. That should give us great hope in terms of honoring the Lord with our apologia, that is, with our defense.

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