The Apologetics of Peter: A Logical Argument
for the Deity of Christ
by Steve Cable
Peter – A Leader in Apologetics
How many times have you heard the Apostle Peter portrayed as the brash fisherman whose mouth was always several steps ahead of his brain? According to many sermons, Peter’s life motto may have been “Open mouth, insert foot!” Certainly Peter did not hesitate to speak his mind which sometimes landed him in trouble and sometimes resulted in commendation (Matt 16:23; Matt 16:17). I suspect we often focus on Peter’s foibles because we feel that if Jesus could love and use Peter then perhaps there is hope for us as well. Others have been known to say, “I guess I take after Peter” as an excuse for thoughtless words or actions which dishonor Christ.
However, if we look at Peter’s entire life journey as recorded in Scripture, we see a life that set an incredible example of love, zeal, compassion, courage and effective apologetics. Wait a minute! Peter, a leader in apologetics? That field is only for egghead theologians, not an uneducated fisherman like Peter, right?
Yes, absolutely Peter was a leader in this area. Here are several reasons why we can be sure that Peter was a leading apologist for Christianity.
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1. Peter recognized the evidence pointing to Jesus as the Christ early on. When others doubted Jesus’ teaching, Peter declared, “To whom shall we go, you (Jesus) have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). As an eyewitness of Jesus’ teaching, signs and miracles, Peter, through the Father’s revelation of His Son, went on to declare, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matt 6:16).
2. Beginning at Pentecost, Peter took on the role as the primary spokesperson presenting a reasoned argument for the gospel before the Jewish masses, the Jewish authorities and the first Gentile converts.
3. It appears that Peter was the one Paul approached to discuss his theology and arguments for the gospel before Paul began sharing them with the entire Roman world (Gal 1:18). In his second epistle, Peter equates the letters of Paul with the “rest of Scripture,” giving them his approval as “God breathed” (2 Pet 3:15-16; 1:20-21).
4. Peter is the one that commanded us to be prepared to give an effective, reasoned argument for our faith, introducing the term “apologetics”to our vocabulary as important for every believer as he told the believers in Asia, “always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15-16).
Peter was never shy about taking the lead. If we are to obey this command to be prepared with a reasoned defense, it behooves us to look at the example and teaching of Peter.
In this article, we will examine the apologetics of Peter to help us grow in our ability to give a reasoned defense. Peter was following the example and instruction of his Teacher, Jesus…
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