What Is Apologetics?
By Kevin Haag
The word "apologetics" comes from the Greek word "apologia," pronounced, "ap-ol-og-ee’-ah." It means, "a verbal defense." Christian apologetics is the branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines. Defending Christianity is not just for theologians, pastors or noted apologists like James White, it is for all Christians.
1 Peter 3:15:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
Christianity is constantly under attack by skeptics who deny the existence of God or question the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. There are false teachers – some even claim to be Christians – who teach false doctrines and lead people away from the truth. The goal of apologetics is being prepared to give a reasonable defense of the Christian faith to the skeptics, critics, and false teachers.
There are two primary methods of Christian apologetics:
1) Classical - deals with the reason and evidence. It stresses rational arguments for the existence of God and uses evidence to substantiate biblical claims and miracles (Jesus’ resurrection, biblical manuscripts, fulfilled prophecy, miracles, etc.).
2) Presuppostitional – deals with the presuppositions (to believe that a particular thing is true before there is any proof of it) of those who oppose Christianity, because presuppositions affect how a person views evidence and reason.
Apologetics can include studying different subjects such as philosophy, biology, mathematics, evolution, and logic. Apologetics may seem overwhelming, especially for a “new” Christian, but most of the time it simply consists of knowing God’s Word. By studying the Bible, Christians can equip themselves to know what they believe, why they believe, and be able to share it with others (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Being prepared may involve giving an answer about Jesus, salvation or any Christian doctrine.
Gentleness and Respect
God has called every Christian to be prepared to make a defense of their faith and to do it with gentleness and respect. Christians should not engage in arguments, be arrogant, get angry, or be disrespectful. We should have a loving Christ-like attitude when discussing our beliefs with others. As Christ ambassadors, we are not here to win arguments but to preach the Gospel (1 Corinthians 2:1-5), remembering that our faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9)!
© New Testament Christian
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy:
By Kevin Haag. © New Testament Christian. Website: new-testament-christian.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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