Happy Feast of the Ascension!
On this holy day, I offer a delightful post from Perry Robinson on his Energetic Procession site: “The Open Door.” Robinson recounts a morning meeting with some visiting Jehovah’s Witnesses who had knocked on his door. The story is a fine example of grassroots apologetics.
Oddly enough, I owe some of my theological development to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In my early teen years, I participated in local Baptist missionary efforts wherein I had the chance to see youth pastors and other “soul winners” engage all sorts of folks on religious matters. We sometimes happened upon Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Russelites were surprisingly receptive to having a religious discussion with strangers in their living rooms. One evening, my youth pastor and I visited the home of a Jehovah’s Witness elder. The Baptist and the J.W. had a lengthy doctrinal debate, replete with scores of references to holy writ. It was evident to me that both men were extraordinarily familiar with their scriptures, but they continued to argue past each other because they interpreted the same texts so differently. It was on that rather chilly winter night that I realized how utterly indefensible sola scriptura really was. My proclivities for Protestantism waned quickly afterward.
It is funny how groups as disparate as the Jesuits, Reformed Jewish rabbis, and Jehovah’s Witnesses played important roles in my conversion to Orthodoxy. Providence uses all available tools.