Question: I have been a Christian for a long time, and I have just recently been hearing about apologetics. Can you tell me what apologetics is all about?
Over the last one hundred and fifty or so years the church in America and abroad turned inward and basically disfellowshipped the mind in worship. Not that we are finding ourselves behind the eight ball in the culture, the church is finding that it needs to invite the mind back into worship and get engaged with the Great Commandment of Jesus (Matthew 22:36-40; c.f. Romans 12:1-2) and not just the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). It is this ministry’s conviction that you cannot do the latter without omitting the former.
So in getting to the question, which is good one, Christian apologetics is the spiritual discipline which deals with a rational defense of Christianity. The term, “apologetics” comes from the Greek word apologia, which means, “to give a reason or a defense.” Contrary to some’s popular thinking, it has nothing to do with saying, “I’m sorry for being a Christian.”
For the Christian, apologetics may include effectively explaining why we believe that God is real and exists, why the Bible is true, or why we believe that Jesus is 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; 1 Corinthians 9:3).
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. It also entails the exposing of flawed reasoning behind many of the popular arguments that are coming against Christianity (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Ironically, many skeptics 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 (defense) for his skepticism, 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).
They are without excuse.