Category: Self Defense

The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas (Book Review 2)

Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak, The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul’s Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World (IVP Academic, 2014). Paperback – Kindle 

Gospel in Marketplace of Ideas

Jesus chose Saul of Tarsus for a big task – take the Gospel of Christ to the Gentile world. Why did Jesus choose Saul? Why select a deeply devoted Pharisee from Tarsus to take Christianity to a world of pagans, idol worshippers and lovers of philosophy?

Saul viewed the Lord’s calling as extremely personal: “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles” (Galatians 1:15-16). 

As the authors point out in this excellent book (be sure to read Book Review 1 which looks at the first four chapters of The Gospel in the Markeplace), Saul of Tarsus, Paul the Apostle, was well qualified to take the Gospel of Christ to the philosophers on Mars Hill:

“Paul was knowledgeable about the philosophical and religious beliefs of the Athenians. One prominent Athenian school was Stoicism, founded by Zeno of Cyprus and developed by a later Zeno from Paul’s hometown–Tarsus, another of the three great centers of learning in the Roman Empire (the third being Alexandria in Egypt). Paul would have had plenty of opportunity to learn about Stoicism and competing worldviews. No wonder, then, when Paul was challenged to explain the new foreign gods that the Athenians thought he was proclaiming, he brought together his knowledge of Scripture and Jewish traditions and theology with the practices of Gentile idolaters and philosophers.” (p. 13).


Defending the Faith in Your Community – Every Day

Faith in Stone

Ask a Christian to “defend the faith” and you get a variety of reactions. “Why does the ‘faith’ need defending? God can take care of Himself.” “How do I do that?” “I don’t want to do that!” “Are you serious? I wouldn’t know how.” “Isn’t that for professionals?” “Me? I’m not one of those ‘apologists.’ I’m just a Christian.”

Whatever your reaction, the fact is that every Christian can and should “defend the faith” in their community “every day.” Here’s an example from something you may have experienced.

When the officer in charge calls a group of soldiers to attention, then to a ready position, the officer expects everyone to move at the command. The command to attention and ready is not just for captains or majors or colonels or generals. It is for everyone preparing for the field of battle – from the new recruit to the oldest soldier.

When a martial arts instructor calls the class to attention, then to a ready position, it is not just for the Black Belts to obey the command. It is for everyone from the new White Belt student to the highest ranking Black Belt. Being ready for battle or self defense is for everyone.

We have a saying in martial arts that you can be attacked “anywhere, anytime, by anyone.” That’s why the first lessons in martial arts deal with the importance of being ready to defend.

Here’s how that applies to defending the faith in your community.


Christ-Centered Defense


We teach students of martial arts to defend themselves from the “center” of their body. When a martial artist defends, they focus their mind, body and spirit to a point that runs from the very center of their being – outward only as far as necessary to defend. Eyes to the center – ears to the center – hands to the center – focus to the center – power to the center. Our training takes us from the point of origin (wherever our hands happen to be at the moment we are attacked) to the center of our body. We face the enemy and move our hands only the width from the center necessary to escape, block, strike, trap or throw – usually no wider than our shoulders because we always move from the center. Once the defensive technique is finished, our hands return to the center ready to do the next thing in defending our lives and the lives of people God gives us to defend.


Dealing With “Faith Bullies”

Faith Bully

40 years ago today I was an atheist. I was also a “faith bully.”  But something happened that changed my life forever. I want to share my story with you and help you deal with the faith bullies in your life. I will be adding more posts and pages in the coming days. Please visit the GraceLife Blog and Grace Martial Arts for more information about Faith and Self Defense.

If you’re in the Tampa/Orlando area and would be interested in my sharing with your church or group about faith defense, please email me at

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

Faith and Self Defense