What is Apologetics?
Apologetics is the reasoned defense of the Christian faith, giving positive reasons and logical grounds for the truth of Christianity. Knowing the reason for hope in Jesus Christ isn’t a responsibility reserved for theological scholars, rhetoricians or believing academic geniuses. It’s equally important for moms, dads, teen-agers, the elderly, and for every new creation in Christ Jesus independent of age, experience, or education.
Excellent resources are available at CARM.org, the website of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. This concise definition of apologetics is compiled from information found on CARM’s site:
Christian Apologetics is something every true believer should be involved in even if it is only a little. Christian apologetics is that branch of Christianity that deals with answering any and all critics who oppose or question the revelation of God in Christ and the Bible. It can include studying such subjects as biblical manuscript transmission, philosophy, biology, mathematics, evolution, and logic. But it can also consist of simply giving an answer to a question about Jesus or a Bible passage. The latter case is by far the most common and you don’t have to read a ton of books to do that.
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence,” 1 Peter 3:15.
Can you easily explain why you believe in Jesus Christ? Don’t reserve this exercise for Sunday School or church fellowship groups. Some may have to answer the question looking directly into the barrel of a gun. Young Christians were murdered for their faith in the Columbine school massacre in 1999. In October 2015 others were killed for being Christians by a 26-year-old on the Umpqua Community College campus in Oregon. Christians are martyred for their faith on a daily basis in the Middle East.
Why do you believe in Jesus Christ?
If you can’t answer the question, “Why do I believe?” without deep thought or you’re simply not sure, it may be time for remedial faith-work. Faith that saves is faith that withstands every test and remains until our final breath. Can you honestly say your faith is “unto death?” Can you explain why? Knowing and being able to share the answers is apologetics.
[su_quote cite=”Jude 3-4″]Beloved… I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith… For certain men have crept in unnoticed… who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. [/su_quote]
Basic apologetics, answering for our hope in Christ and contending for the faith, is a required element of sanctification. Salvation and sanctification, the process of growing in Christ and keeping your feet from straying off the Narrow Path, are entirely different. The presumption that God’s Word has merit becomes less normative with each passing year. Within the church itself fewer self-labeled believers agree on the relative weight of God’s Word.
In it’s 2016 State of the Church study Barna Research found that only a minuscule number of Americans – a paltry 7% – believe the Bible is the inerrant and inspired Word of God.
You are responsible for what you believe
Who tells the faithful to doubt God’s Word? Whether purposefully or in ignorance, messages of error come from preachers, teachers, and leaders in the church. All who speak as authorities will answer to God for what they say. Hearing them does not change the simple truth that you are responsible for what you believe just as I am for what I believe.
[su_quote cite=”2 Timothy 2:15″]Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.[/su_quote]
How do we know what’s true? Bible study is the search for the truth of God. The Bible guides, directs, reveals, confirms, and denies. What is the foundation of your faith?
Foundations of Faith Every Believer Needs to Know
Every Christ-follower should know the answers to the following questions and where to find them in God’s Word. Your answers will confirm which path you walk, the broad and crowded way leading to destruction or the one few find leading to Eternity with Jesus. (Matthew 7:13-14)
- Who is God?
- Who is Jesus?
- Who are you in relationship to God?
- Does God change?
- Does God make mistakes?
- Is the Bible the inerrant Word of God?
- Does God have both the right and power to control His creation?
- What happens when you’re not in right relationship to God?
- How do you know you’re going to heaven when you die?
This brief introduction to apologetics provides a glimpse of the strategy and error of “settled science” and how humanists seek to prove God a myth that only the ignorant or deluded believe. The war between human intellect (self-indulgence) and God the Creator began in Genesis 3. The delusion Adam and Eve fell under wasn’t that God didn’t actually say what He did, but that He didn’t mean it the way He said it or that He only told them not to eat the wonderful fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because He was a selfish meanie and wanted to be God all by Himself.
Human Nature Chooses Delusion
Human nature will always choose delusion and itching ears the easy lie. (2 Timothy 4:3) Humanists insist that Christ-followers are dullards fooled by snake-oil evangelists. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth and the Light.
The most public exercise in apologetics is the critical debate between Creationists and Darwinian Evolutionists over the origin of life. Does the Big Bang Theory disprove God as Creator or suggest that Genesis offers the best explanation for the facts as we know them today? The premise that God’s Word and science stand at odds with one another is false. Proof of that statement is the stuff of apologetics.
Why Christians should care about Apologetics
Light and darkness share no common ground. Christian opinion or doctrine hold no sway with scientific, cultural, academic, or humanist acolytes. Issues of Evolution, LGBT, abortion and historical reality are approached with foundations based on God’s Word and truth – what IS. Error is abundant in both Christian and non-Christian communities. Apologetics rightly divides what is from what is presumed.
[su_quote cite=”Colossians 2:8″]Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ[/su_quote]
It doesn’t matter what you believe at your last breath unless what you believe is true. The lies of the world have no power in eternity. There is only one source of Truth. It not only matters why you believe what you believe, it matters if what you believe is real.
Can you answer for your hope in Jesus Christ?
Be challenged to discover why you believe as you do in Rapture and Revelation.
For more intensive study into apologetics and separating what is real from what is not, check out Fifteen Minutes into Eternity.