We are fast approaching the end of the Apologetics Awareness Week (September 10-17) and I have shared with you somethings about the purpose and the importance of apologetics. My previous post was about what apologetics cannot do without the aide of the Holy Spirit. In this post I want to do double duty in sharing with you about what apologetics can do and why we should do apologetics.
First off we need to understand why we do apologetics apart from the Scriptures commanding us to give a reason for the hope that we have.
There is some strong evidence even from the academic disciplines. Three things that we need to know.
First Christianity is supported by philosophy. The Christian worldview is a philosophy of life that answers some of the most important questions about our origin, our purpose, how to conduct our lives ethically and morally. It also gives an idea that this life is not all that there is when it is over. There will be a life following this earthly life, where one will either find themselves in the presence of God or separated from God for all eternity.
Second Christianity is rooted in history. Christianity is an historical faith. We have an historical creation. We have an historical compilation of 66 books by some 40 different authors, in three languages, on three continents. We know that Jesus existed in literal history and that He died an historical death and rose in a literal time/space timeframe.
Thirdly, Christianity is corroborated by science. Though miracles violate the laws of science (physics), we do know that we can scientifically test the origin and design of the universe. The very fact that there are scientific facts in the Bible shows that this faith we call Christianity is friendly to the academic disciplines of history, philosophy and science.
So what can apologetics do for us?
1. It can answer the honest intellectual questions about the Christian faith. There is nothing wrong with questions so long as the questions are thought out and consistently logically. As one has said, nothing is so self-defeating than a question is not fully understood when it is fully posed. Many have honest questions and apologetics helps get those questions answered.
2. It can expose pseudo-intellectual objections for what they really are — spiritual issues of the will. Someone is not an atheist for intellectual reasons. Many atheists or those who are anti-theistic have questions that were started by doubts that were not tackled. Many objections are not very intellectual, but are covering a deeper issue that is more spiritual than intellectual.
3. It can build up the faith of the believer, by reinforcing the faith that we have (Acts 18:24-28). There is a lot of strange teachings creeping into the church, which means that believers need a lot of discernment. Some believers are in the workforce, seeking to live out their Christian lives and they are questioned as to why they do not do somethings while doing others that seem right and pure. Those criticisms and objections need to be responded to, and doing apologetics or as I would like to pose, “living the apologetic life” is a way to live a disciplined life of the mind, as well as the heart and soul.
I hope you have enjoyed this series. Remember that I will be addressing much of what we have shared this week on the Real Issue podcast this Sunday/Monday. Thanks for indulging and I hope to continue fervently as I have this week with these postings.