WHAT IS APOLOGETICS? DO WE NEED IT IN THE LORD’S ARMY?

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!

Top 5 Reasons to Give Thanks to the Lord

#5: He made this wonderful universe.

#4: He fine-tuned our solar system for life on Earth.

#3: He has given everyone the free will to love Him.

#2: He rose Jesus from the dead and can raise your body to eternal life.

#1 Reason: He has done all these great things for you.

Thank you, Lord, for being so good to me!

Twelve Things God Hates

What does the statement “God hated Esau” really mean? (Malachi 1:3, Romans 9:11-13) Is it the same kind of hate that a person has for cheesecake or lemon meringue pie? The purpose of this article is to list twelve things that God really does hate. In doing so, we will discover that God loves all people, but it is not the same kind of love that a person has for dessert.

Does God Love and Hate At the Same Time?

It is so very important for us to understand the difference between loving a person and hating the sin. Generally speaking, “God hated Esau” means that God hated sinful behavior, not the actual person of Esau. Since God is love (1 John 4:16) and He hates sin (Proverbs 6:16-19), it follows that God must love all people in the world (John 3:16) unconditionally while also hating the person’s sin at the same time.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only unique Son, and whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

There are six things that the LORD hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Five More Things God Hates

In addition to dealing perfectly with each person, God also deals perfectly with nations and groups of people. In Malachi 1:1-3, we find out that Edom refers to Esau’s descendants who are called the Edomites (Genesis 25:30, 36:1, 9). The Lord calls Edom a Wicked Land (Mal. 1:4), meaning a wicked people always under the wrath of the Lord. Why were they under wrath? They were under wrath for the following reasons:

1.) Siding with Israelite enemies (Psalm 83:1-8)

2.) Inflicting revenge on Judah (Ezek. 25:12-14)

In the context of Malachi chapter 1, Edom suffers as a group of people not because God inflicts punishment in a cruel random way, but rather, God is perfectly just when He gives both warnings and consequences. Malachi uses the illustration of “Edom under divine wrath” in order to warn the Israelites that the Israelite priests need to repent from showing contempt for the name of the Lord Almighty. Otherwise, Israel will also suffer divine wrath. Israel was warned about their following sins:

1.) Priests who despise the name of the Lord Almighty (Mal. 1:6)

2.) A people who do not offer the best to the Lord Almighty (Mal. 1:11)

3.) A people who do not fear the name of the Lord Almighty (Mal. 1:14)

Another Thing God Hates

In the book of Revelation, we find out that God commended a certain group of people for hating sin. What sin was that? The people in the church of Ephesus were approved by God for hating the sinful work of the Nicolatians. (Early church Fathers explained that the sin of the Nicolatians refers to allowing heretical doctrine.)

Revelation 2:6 – (The Lord Almighty said,) Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolatians, which I also hate.

The key word in Revelation 2:6 is the word works. It was not the person, per se, that was hated. It was the work of those people. Everyone is called to honor the Lord, no matter who you are or where you live, by following sound doctrine. In addition to being saved by grace through faith in order to do good works, we are also commanded to live by sound doctrine. In order to reject heresies and unorthodox doctrine, one must know the truth of sound doctrine. This is why it is so important to be a student of the Word of God, learn from educated theologians, let the Holy Spirit reveal truth to you, and daily put on the new life in Christ, walking in step with divine guidance.

Does God Only Love Some People?

Maybe you’ve heard a Christian such as a Calvinist say that God only loves some people. Oddly enough, atheists often say the same thing. It is not a good interpretation of Scripture to conclude that God only loves some people. It is false to say that God only loves some people. John 3:16 does not say, “For God so loved only part of the world…” Telling people “God only loves some people” can actually end up triggering hopelessness, anger, and depression.

God’s character is so loving that it is impossible for Him to not love. God is love (1 John 4:16), and that means God naturally loves you. He is always loving in all that He does and in all that He says. The word that we use for God’s all-loving moral attribute is called omnibenevolent. It means He is always good, always loving, and perfectly limitless in being good and loving toward everyone. Nothing is forcing Him to love you. He just does love you with an infinite amount and a divine eternal love. He is so good, that He extends grace and carries out perfect justice to individuals as well as nations.

Just as a parent disciplines his child in order to keep him from repeating dangerous actions, our Heavenly Father pours out divine wrath in wicked places – out of His desire for people to repent from sin. Even though He actively hates sin, His loving character does not change. His loving character is constantly loving and constantly unchanging. The way God loves is not the exact same way a person loves dessert. The way God hates is not the exact same way a person hates cheesecake. Psalm 5:5 says, “You hate all workers of iniquity.” Psalm 11:5 says, “The Lord’s soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.” Divine hate and divine wrath are a means of divine discipline in order to get a human being to repent from sinful behavior.

How Do I Know If God Really Loves Me?

I met a lady one day who told me she thought God did not love her. When I asked why she thought that, she said it was because someone told her that God only chooses to love some people, and He decided to love other people but not love her. What?! That is a terrible misunderstanding of God’s unchanging nature. I assured her that God does love her with an everlasting love that endures forever, and He is just waiting for her to love Him back. Rest assured, you can be confident that God first loved you. Most certainly! “God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The love that God has for all people is impartial, universal, and unconditional. He loves you so much that Jesus willingly died for you in order to pay the penalty for all your sin. The natural response is for you to thank God for the good work He did for you. We love, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

I might never know if God hates cheesecake, but I do know He hates pride, lying, murdering innocent blood, devising wicked plans, rushing into evil, false witnesses, and stirring up conflict. Never give up what you know for what you don’t know.

It is very clear in the Bible that God does not love sin. In the Scriptures, we find out that He loves all people. Likewise, we are commanded to love one another just as Jesus loved one another. We are never commanded to love the sin in a person’s life. Rather, we can dislike the sin in a person’s life while continuing to love the person. A parent is always expected to love his or her child unconditionally, impartially, and at all times.

If you have not done so already, get in a good Bible study with a teacher who follows sound doctrine and prays for you. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15). Never give up being a student of the Bible. The best way to genuinely love God is getting to know His divine attributes, the good work He has done, and all the good promises He has for you. And praise Him for it all!

Ultimate happiness is found in a right relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

Evangelism Before and After Apologetics

As a Christian, have you ever wondered what the differences are between an evangelist and an apologist? Have you ever wondered if all Christians are supposed to evangelize and explain what we believe and why we believe it? Have you ever wondered if the Holy Spirit is moving in apologetics? Below is a slide presentation on Evangelism Before and After Christian Apologetics. The purpose of this talk is to show the importance of Christian apologetics when sharing the Gospel message. Several people pointed out last night that they found this presentation very helpful. Please feel free to use these slides in your presentation and/or circulate certain slides that you find especially useful.

Evangelism & Apologtics Oct 16 Sibu PDF

Sibu Rajappan has responded to Richard Dawkins below. Here is Sibu’s response:

“How can Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, their cohorts and their children (Ganapati, Murukan, etc.) be incarnations? In the Puranas, these gods are interacting with each other, in some instances, fighting each other! This is not how a Hindu understands incarnations/avatars.”