The Need for Apologetics: The Defense of the Faith
Sometimes we expect that a few good arguments will unlock salvation’s door. When we find that they don’t and that we are met with a glaring sneer instead of a grateful embrace, we are hurt and conclude that “apologetics doesn’t work.” We then swing to the opposite – “I’m going to simply let my good works speak for the Gospel.”
Admittedly, in our post-Christian society where people have been warned and inoculated against the Gospel, it might be better to lead with good works in most cases. However, we are instructed to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that [we] have” (1 Peter 3:15). Therefore, I want to present a rationale for this.
Apologetics – reasons to believe in the Christian faith – is primarily for us. We have to know why we believe and how to defend ourselves against the many challenges to the faith.
Moses knew that the children of Israel needed reasons to believe – evidences – in order to follow him out of Egypt. In the midst of a burning bush, God had instructed him to return to Egypt to lead His people out of captivity, but Moses was reluctant:
“What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” (Exodus 4:1)
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Instead, of commanding Moses to tell the people “Just believe,” God equipped Moses with a quiver of miraculous evidences– a rod turning into a snake, a leprous hand, and water turning into blood – to prove that He had sent Moses.
Jesus also understood that His disciples needed evidences to support their faith. He therefore prophesied to them what would happen to Him so that they would believe once these prophecies were fulfilled:
I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. (John 14:29)
We also need supportive evidences to help in sustaining our faith. After the crucifixion, Jesus’ disciples fled, convinced that everything that they had believed in had been for naught. In order to bring them back, they required the proof of His resurrection appearances…
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