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by Jon Morrison
Lee Strobel recently told the Christian Post that the church in the West is approaching a Golden Age of Apologetics. I echo Strobel and in this post I want to explore why I think apologetics is so important. At Apologetics Canada, we are seeking to bring a new wave of Christian apologetics to the Western Church. I am not talking about the kind of apologetics that is bent on winning arguments or trying to look smart with an impressive storehouse of worldly wisdom in Jesus’ name.
I want to show you that apologetics should be a priority in every church for 5 reasons: It is part of our mission, it is a command in Scripture, it is part of church history, it is our Christian responsibility to defend truth, and it is an important part of Christian discipleship.
Apologetics As Mission
In his book, A Christian Worldview, the late Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) wrote:
“The purpose of apologetics is not just to win an argument or a discussion, but that the people with whom we are in contact may become Christians and then live under the Lordship of Christ in the whole spectrum of life.” (P151)
If I approach someone on the street and say, “You should become a Christian,” they might say, “Sure!” and give their life to Christ right there on the spot. That would be a really nice response but that has never been my experience.
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What is far more likely is that they will ask, “Why should I become a Christian?”
I could say in response, “Because I said so…” That would be simply trying to bully them into belief. Such a power-play would make Nietzsche and the postmodernist’s toe nails curl. I could say, “Because everyone is doing it.” We learned in high school that following the crowd was a waste of time and gave you nothing but a headache (literally and metaphorically). Truth is not a democracy. While cults appeal to the collective, Christianity appeals to the truth.
People will have questions: Why Jesus? Why not other religions? Why not atheism? Apologetics is the formal word for giving the “Why” behind the “What” of Christian belief. Are you ready and prepared to respond to being asked “Why?”?
The person you are sharing with will not want power-plays or appeals to the masses. They will want reasons why you back up the claim that Christianity is true. In response to the Great Commission and for the sake of the beloved souls for whom Jesus died for, also known as your neighbours, friends, family members, classmates, teammates, baristas, etc, I would hope you are ready and excited for such an opportunity to share the hope of Christ.
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