A FAQ on Apologetics

Q. I have been in church for years, but I had not heard of apologetics until recently. What is it? Are you saying that Christians should apologize about something?

A. Christian apologetics is the discipline which deals with a rational defense of Christianity. Our term, “apologetics” comes from the Greek word apologia (πολογία), which means, “to give a reason, an answer, or a defense.” It has nothing to do with saying, “I‘m sorry.” For the Christian, apologetics may include effectively explaining why we believe that God is real, the Bible is true, or that Jesus and His resurrection are  authentic.

1 Peter 3:15 contains the admonition, “. . . be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. . . .” The same wording is found in Philippians 1:7 and 1:17, where Paul said that he is “set for the defense of the Gospel.” The principle is echoed in Jude 3, as believers are encouraged to “earnestly contend for the faith.” The Bible contains examples of using evidence and sound reasoning to minister to individuals (see Luke 21:14; Acts 25:16, 26:23-24; I Corinthians 9:3; and 2 Corinthians 10:3,4).

Apologetics deals with support for (and defense of) the core beliefs of Christianity. Examples are such topics as defending the authority and trustworthiness of scripture; presenting evidence in defense of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and the Christian faith in general; and exposing the flawed reasoning behind many of the popular arguments against Christianity.

Ironically, many people today think that they have legitimate reasons for rejecting Jesus Christ and that God does not have justifiable claim on their life. Man feels that he has an apologetic, but God does not. In reality, it is God Who does have an apologetic, while man does not. The Bible says that those who suppressed God‘s truth in favor of their own sinful desires have no apologetic (or defense) for what they have done (see Romans 2:1).