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Does the Bible call Christians to defend the faith / argue for the faith?
Answer: The classic verse promoting apologetics (the defense of the Christian faith) is 1 Peter 3:15, which says that believers are to make a defense "for the hope that you have." The only way to do this effectively is to study the reasons why we believe what we believe. This will prepare us to "demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,” as Paul said we should (2 Corinthians 10:5). Paul practiced what he preached; in fact, defending the faith was his regular activity (Philippians 1:7). He refers to apologetics as an aspect of his mission in the same passage (v.16). He also made apologetics a requirement for church leadership in Titus 1:9. Jude, an apostle of Jesus, wrote that "although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (v.3).
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Where did the apostles get these ideas? From the Master Himself. Jesus was His own apologetic, as He often stated that we should believe in Him because of the evidence He provided (John 2:23; 10:25; 10:38; 14:29). In fact, the whole Bible is full of divine miracles that confirm what God wants us to believe (Exodus 4:1-8; 1 Kings 18:36-39; Acts 2:22-43; Hebrews 2:3-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12). People rightly refuse to believe something without evidence. Since God created humans as rational beings, we should not be surprised when He expects us to live rationally. As Norman Geisler says, “This does not mean there is no room for faith. But God wants us to take a step of faith in the light of evidence, rather than to leap in the dark.”
Those who oppose these clear biblical teachings and examples may say, “The Word of God does not need to be defended!” But which of the world’s writings are the Word of God? As soon as someone answers that, he is doing apologetics…
RECOMMENDED APOLOGETICS RESOURCES FOR FURTHER READING:
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