ARE YOU READY TO LEARN WHAT GOOD APOLOGETICS IS ALL ABOUT?
Simply put, the work of apologetics is to explain what you believe and why you believe it. In Christian apologetics, the basic task is concerned with providing the truth claims of Christianity and providing reasons for those truth claims. If a Christian cannot tell an unbeliever what makes Christianity unique, why should an unbeliever be interested? In the New Testament, we are commanded to engage in good Christian apologetics with kindness and respect. It is one way we are supposed to love the Lord with all of our mind.
Historical apologetics is clearly seen in the work of first century apostles, including Peter and Paul, and further developed by many early church Fathers such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Many great apologists have added a considerable amount of new work such as C.S. Lewis, Norm Geisler, and R.C. Sproul. The apologetic approach is still important today. It is still at the heart of Christianity. Apologists today such as William Lane Craig, Josh McDowell, Frank Turek, Ravi Zacharias, Hugh Ross, Stephen Meyer, John Lennox, Michael L. Brown, J. Warner Wallace, Lee Strobel, Stephanie J. Thomason, and many many other great apologists continue to lead the way.
Believers should be able to explain two main pillars:
Why do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?
Why do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?
Those two pillars are what makes Christianity unique. They distinguish what makes Christianity different from other worldviews such as pantheism and agnosticism. In addition to knowing the reasons for the two main pillars of Christianity, many people – both believers and unbelievers – need reasons to believe in the existence of a theistic God. Theologians say that theism is a logical prerequisite before establishing Christianity. In presuppositional apologetics, however, a presuppositional apologist will deny any need to give reasons for the existence of God. Strict Calvinists might lean in that direction. I have personally seen marriages where one person is not a believer, but the other spouse – who is a believer – does not understand the value of good apologetics. It would be a very good idea for the spouse who is a believer to learn good Christian apologetics.
Apologetics in a general sense means “a reasoned statement or a verbal defense.” It comes from the Greek word, apologia, which is found in the New Testament where Paul gives a defense for his point of view as a Christian. Later on, Peter gives us an exhortation to be ready to give a reason for your hope as a Christian. Peter gives us a command to explain what you believe as a Christian and why you believe it. “Have no fear of them who would harm you, nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense (apologia) to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:14b-16).
How do you begin using apologetics in a practical way? Start learning now and pray for the Lord to give you wisdom. Many good books can help you understand how to begin using your apologetic skills. When you share the gospel message, your apologetic skills can be a tremendous source of knowledge and empowerment. The book that helped me begin to see the value of apologetics is “Defending Your Faith” by R. C. Sproul. Then I continued learning by studying the work of many other amazing apologists such as Dr. Norman Geisler, C.S. Lewis, and Thomas Aquinas. Make the decision today to learn how to love the Lord God with all your mind. I hope you discover that apologetics can be a significant way to help you become a more powerful and effective soldier in the Lord’s army. In the book of Ephesians, Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God. All the pieces are important for the Christian to live a life that brings glory and honor to the Lord. The belt of truth is needed in everyday language when we speak. The belt of truth can give you the support that is needed when speaking to a loved one. One of the best books that will help you learn how to discern truth is “Christian Apologetics” by Norman Geisler. Another great book is “Truth In Religion” by Mortimer J. Adler. Start today!