Finding Jesus in Apologetics (An Apology For Apologetics)
by Marc Gaerlan
“Apologetics” comes from the Greek verb “apologeomai”, which means “to speak in defense of” and also the related noun “apologia”, which means “a defense”. Apologeomai and apologia do not mean “to apologize” as if you were sorry. It’s more like a defense lawyer making a case for a client or a scientist explaining (defending) a theory. When Plato wrote “The Apology” he wasn’t saying he was sorry for what Socrates said, he was defending Socrates work. The subtitle of this post doesn’t mean I’m being or saying sorry for apologetics, or saying I’m sorry for saying sorry, it’s “a defense (apologia) for speaking in defense of (Apologeomai)”.
Apologetics–Christian apologetics–is the rational and reasonable defense of the Christian faith. Apologetics gives intellectual understanding to the faith that Christians hold, why we believe the truth of the Bible, and even why, using evidence and reason, we can trust that the Bible is the real Word of God. I would be remiss, however, if I did not say that you cannot discount or discard the role that The Holy Spirit plays in a Christians faith and walk in faith. This is something that’s very real, a very real experience in the life of those that have accepted Jesus. If you have not yet accepted Jesus, if you’re seeking what Jesus, Christianity, and the church is all about and have not experienced the Holy Spirit, you’ll have to take this one on “faith” and in the meantime investigate the rational reasons for Christianity. It’s also important to recognize here, if you haven’t accepted Jesus and received the Holy Spirit, that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It doesn’t mean the evidence (or The Holy Spirit) doesn’t exist, you just haven’t found and experienced it.
A belief that profoundly affects the way a person lives is often called a “worldview”. A persons worldview encompasses their hearts and minds; it will direct the way they live their lives. An atheist (someone who doesn’t believe in God) may have a worldview that differs from an agnostic (someone who is not sure if there is or isn’t a god). In the United States, a democrat may hold a different worldview than a republican–or they may have the same worldview and just like to argue. Committed followers of Jesus have a worldview that not only is a worldview of an intellectual nature, but one of the heart, and of a spiritual, eternity-minded nature. Jesus changed the worldview of billions of people through His life, teaching, death and resurrection. Christian apologetics helps to define and defend the Christian worldview, where it comes from and why it’s of utmost importance…
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