Introduction to Apologetics
Apologetics derives from the Greek word "apologia" or defense. Apologetics is the science and art of presenting reasonable defenses for the truth of Christianity. Or put another way, it is using reason, evidence, and testimony to explain the Christian faith. The word is derived from 1 Peter 3:15 ("always be ready to give a reason/defense [apologia] to every man for the hope that is in you").
Many Christians hold a strong view that belief is strictly a matter of faith. In this view Christians have a power to believe that is graciously granted by the Holy Spirit as a result of verbal testimony of changed lives through Jesus Christ and the words of Scripture. For many, this is sufficient. In fact many will argue that no one should rely upon any arguments or rationale outside of this since God's word is all sufficient and the Holy Spirit is the only entity that can change a person's heart.One just needs to believe that since God's word says it, one simply needs to have "the faith of a child."
In addition to simple faith, however, the Bible also strongly encourages individuals to "test" all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21), to always be ready to provide a reason for their belief (1 Peter 3:15), to ask for wisdom and to use their minds (Matthew 22:37, etc.). Apologetics can involve many disciplines to corroborate or validate the claims of the Bible.
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These disciplines would include, but are not limited to science, history, philosophy, and others. It is this reasoned approach that can bolster the faith of many Christians and reach doubters and skeptics when it comes to key questions such as "Does God exist?", "Do we exist by accident or design?", "Is Jesus Christ who he claims to be?", and "Why are we here."
We reject as unbiblical all ideas that attempt to limit Christianity blind faith. Such ideas include "fideism" (the idea that reason and faith are completely incompatible) or "presuppositionalism" (the idea that faith is the only basis for rational thought). We are instructed to "take every thought captive for Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). While there will always be a step of faith for the Christian, the Christian faith is the only one that is evidential in history. God's revelation is not just contained in the pages of Scripture (special revelation), but is evident through other disciples (general revelation) as well.
While it is the Holy Spirit who convicts us to faith, it would be a gross error to put God the Holy Spirit in a box. He works through many avenues to bring people to faith…
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