Apologetics: Still Relevant Today?
by Hank Hanegraaff
"The apologists — I’m telling you they could make falling off a stool difficult. You’d have to go to college to learn how to fall off a stool if you were an apologist…. So, I’m not impressed with the apologist any longer. And I may as well get it out — I used to be one! And God forgive me, and I promise not to ever do it again."
So said prominent televangelist John Avanzini during TBN’s annual Fall "Praise-a-thon." During a time when apologetics — the defense of the faith — is more important than ever before, Avanzini represents a growing number of Christian leaders who attack apologetics as being irrelevant and even divisive. In sharp contrast to Avanzini, Dr. Walter Martin believed that the apologetics ministry of CRI would be more important in the decade of the 1990s than it was when he originally founded it thirty years ago.
How relevant is apologetics today? How big a role should apologetics play in a Christian’s witness? And, above all, is apologetics biblical? Let us briefly consider these questions.
To see just how relevant apologetics is today, we need only take a quick survey of the world around us. Whether we look at the world on a global scale or merely peek into our own little "neck of the woods," it certainly doesn’t take long to realize that we are literally being inundated with a plethora of beliefs and ideologies. From secular humanism to New Age mysticism, people everywhere are being bombarded with an onslaught of false ideas and worldviews. (A "worldview" is simply an interpretive framework through which or by which one interprets the world around him.)
What makes these false worldviews so appealing is their apparent capacity to make sense of the universe in which we live. Each respective worldview purports to give the correct account of reality, thereby giving people some point of reference by which to order their lives. And it’s fair to say that worldviews affect practically every aspect of a person’s life…
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