This is the second of a continuing series of blogs providing supporting scripture for apologetics. Each week, I record a podcast on Tuesday, followed by a blog on Thursday, to provide a deeper understanding of the podcast. Last week I discussed and wrote about Matthew 22:37. This week the verse is 2 Corinthians 10:5. The plan is to continue the series using both Old and New Testament scripture until further notice. Give the podcast a listen on iTunes or when posted on our Facebook page and be sure to catch the blog as well!

So, 2 Corinthians 10:5 states;

5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

Before going further, let’s go back, beginning in verse 2, to determine exactly what Paul is talking about here.

2 I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

You see Paul is talking about spiritual warfare. We walk in the flesh, but we are not waging war according to the flesh. However, spiritual warfare comes in many ways. Here in lies why one cannot read just one verse. The entire Bible must be considered when we study. I will provide an example below.

Let’s begin by looking at “taking every though captive”. According to the website got questions .org:

“there are many human thoughts that need to be taken captive. Numerous ungodly philosophies hold people in bondage, and those spiritual “fortresses” need to be demolished. The systems of thought that war against us are “arrogant obstacles” (NET), “lofty opinions” (ESV), and “sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing” (AMP) that prevent people from knowing God.”

By reading through our verse some would argue Paul is against apologetics. But understand what he, Paul, is stating concerning taking every thought captive. The website continues stating;

“the theory of evolution, secular humanism, existentialism, the cults, the occult, and false religions. How many people are held captive by the idea that they are the products of chance in a godless universe?”

Think about it. Think about all the people claiming Christianity. Think about what our kids are being taught in public schools. Not to mention all the cults and false religions masquerading as Christianity. Sadly, many do not even know, even worse they do not care, or get mad, when you tell them what they believe is not true.

Anyway, I could leave it there showing why apologetics is not only Biblical, but required. And that is only concerning the last part of our verse. Let’s look at the rest of the verse.

“We destroy every argument and lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God.”

According to Romans 1, everyone is aware of God, as He has written it on our hearts. So as an apologetic verse, 2 Corinthians 10:5 is directed at both believers and non-believers alike. Meaning, we as believers are to destroy the arguments and opinions of believers, in gentleness and love, but also those that do not understand; the non- believers. Most have heard the saying concerning opinions, everyone has one. Thus, as believers, it is truth, (apologetics), not opinions that are the point of Paul’s writing.

In fact, according to the Apologetics Study Bible, “in keeping with his personal strategy in engaging in discussion with Jews in synagogues and Athenians on Mars Hill, Paul here advocated the importance of depending upon divine resources rather than human methods and strategies. When we use theological and philosophical reasoning in presenting or defending the gospel, we are to do so graciously, humbly, and prayerfully (1 Peter 3:15).

Again, it may sound as if Paul is speaking against apologetics. And many, taking the verse out of context, use this verse and make an argument using only the part discussing opinions.

Here is an example I wrote of earlier. “Of those that do not understand, or consider context, is Colossians 2:6-8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ (Colossians 2:6-8). Again, this has nothing to do with using apologetics. In fact, it supports apologetics as the verse we are referring today does also. According to Dr. Douglas Groothuis “Paul did apologetics and preached to the Athenian philosophers, so it is unlikely that he is condemning all philosophy (Acts 17:16-34). Our passage makes clear that Paul is drawing a contrast between a false philosophy about Christ and the gospel. He adjures his readers not to be ensnared by false and deceptive philosophy, not philosophy itself.”

2 Corinthians 10:5, a verse, that we, as Christians, are supposed to be doing. Not just apologists, all Christians. Paul is speaking to the people of Corinth of a problem in the first century just as the same problem we have today. We must, if to be considered relevant, and follow scripture, destroy arguments, not be confrontational, but to help people understand, and opinions, are just that, Christianity is based on facts, not opinions.
My prayer is that you better understand this vital verse concerning apologetics.

I will leave you with a quote from a famous atheist:

Penn Jillette states "How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize?" Jillette asked. "How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? If I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you and you didn't believe it, and that truck was bearing down on you, there's a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that."

https://www.gotquestions.org/take-every-thought-captive.html last accessed April 17, 2018
https://douglasgroothuis.com/2015/10/06/how-philosophy-relates-to-the-bible/ last accessed April 17, 2018
http://www.bpnews.net/29863/atheism-penn-jillette-urges-evangelism/ last accessed April 17, 2018

Go on to the next segment, Titus 1:9.

John Mays is the Regional Director of Ratio Christi in the state of West Virginia and the Chapter Director at Marshall University. Contact him at johnmays@ratiochristi.org.