Clean and Press Apologetics

This morning as I was doing a clean and press set the usual happened. At about the tenth repetition of the second set my momentum began to pull me forward, off balance. Now those of you that are familiar with this exercise know that it actually requires momentum, that is, to do it right you want some momentum to get the bar up to shoulder height, and then again to press it overhead. The challenge is in controlling and focusing the momentum so that it boosts your motion at the right time and in the right direction.


So what happened? Well, I have a friend who helps me with this sort of thing. His normal input is to assert that since my ears are not bleeding we should add more weight. However, he watches closely and when needed he yells “Reset,” which means that I need to take a teensy pause and get things back together and balanced. How long does that take? About a second if I pay attention to him, and then I can go right on. If I don’t, however, and actually get pulled forward then I often have to stop and put the bar down.

What does this have to do with apologetics? Well, I think apologetics is actually hard work. And those who do it can benefit from the “momentum” that comes from a love of truth, a zest for spreading the gospel, or even the inspiration of the Spirit. However, the human condition is sufficiently flawed that this “momentum” can sometimes pull the apologist off balance. Again, this is not because the “momentum” is bad or the apologetic effort is wasted, but because the human condition is always less than ideal. Moreover, sometimes the line between mysticism, which bypasses the perceived failure of church leaders in favor of access to the Highest Authority, and various forms of cognitive and emotional distress is thin and poorly understood, particularly by those most closely involved.

So we might need a friend here, and perhaps here, just to yell “Reset” and elicit a pause for better balance. And we at FPR can’t be that friend because things are a bit hostile and tense. So if someone could just do us all a favor and have a look around to see if all is well, I would be much obliged.


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