Scriptural Lessons for Apologetics
by Mike Riccardi
When Christians think and speak about apologetics—about defending the Christian faith against the attacks of unbelievers—it can sometimes be the case that Scripture itself is one of the furthest things from their minds. When endeavoring to defend the faith, many of us think immediately of archaeology, of philosophical arguments, of scientific proofs and rebuttals, of canonicity and textual criticism, and of refutations of classic atheistic arguments. While all those things have their place in a well-rounded, robustly prepared defender of the faith, it’s unfortunate that Scripture can be one of the last places we think to inform our apologetic methodology. But in point of fact, there are many passages in the Bible that teach us much regarding issues of defending the faith and reasoning with unbelievers. I’d like to explore some of those lessons today.
A God-Dependent Epistemology
One of the tasks of apologetics is to determine proper grounds for believing in something. This discipline is called epistemology—the study of how we know what we know. Proverbs 1:7 states simply that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. In this short
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statement, God declares to us that the only sure foundation of knowing anything properly is to fear and worship Him. To reject the existence of God—or even to admit the existence of God but to fail to worship Him as He requires—precludes one from knowing anything soundly. That’s why the Psalms repeat that it is the fool who has said, “There is no God” (Pss 14:1; 53:1).
A Biblical Anthropology
In fact, the Bible tells us that God has clearly made Himself known to the world, such that there is no excuse for rejecting His existence. Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse…
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