by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Disapproval of polemics¹ in the Christian Church is a very serious matter. But that is the attitude of the age in which we live. The prevailing idea today in many circles is not to bother about these things. As long as we are all Christians, anyhow, somehow, all is well. Do not let us argue about doctrine, let us all be Christians together and talk about the love of God. That is really the whole basis of ecumenicity. Unfortunately, that same attitude is creeping into evangelical circles also and many say that we must not be too precise about these things…. If you hold that view you are criticizing the Apostle Paul, you are saying that he was wrong, and at the same time you are criticizing the Scriptures. The Scriptures argue and debate and dispute; they are full of polemics. . .
. . .Let us be clear about what we mean. This is not argument for the sake of argument; this is not a manifestation of an argumentative spirit; this is not just indulging one’s prejudices. The Scriptures do not approve of that, and furthermore the Scriptures are very concerned about the spirit in which one engages in discussion. No man should like argument for the sake of argument. We should always regret the necessity; but though we regret and bemoan it, when we feel that a vital matter is at stake we must engage in argument. We must “earnestly contend for the truth,” and we are called upon to do that by the New Testament.
Cited in MacArthur, John. The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception. Nashville, Tenn.: Nelson Books, 2007. pp. 193-194.
¹Polemics — The practice of theological controversy to refute errors of doctrine.
HT: Reformed Bibliophile