Why So Much Opposition to Apologetics When it is All About Discipleship?
by Rob Lundberg
This morning I had the privilege of reading Eric Chabot’s piece entitled, Why Does Opposition to Apologetics Come from Mostly Within the Church? In his posting he brings in a series of five issues that are potential catalysts for this opposition. What I would like to do in my posting on this very same issue is springboard off of his first point, and perhaps may have a posting on another of these points. Please go the linked article to read his posting.
When bringing up the subject or the discipline of apologetics, have you ever had someone ask you, “what am I apologizing for?” Some folks who have heard that word, meaning giving an explanation for why you and I believe what we believe, will joke about the word, “apologetics.” Others will be serious with that question.
The title of this post, though, is a serious question. As Eric Chabot made in his first point, that there is an “ignorance about apologetics in the Bible.” From what I have experienced in my locale, I couldn’t agree more. Like Eric, I too have taught on the subject of apologetics in the Bible, and likewise I have witnessed similarly, the fact that many Christians have really not learned to read the Bible apologetically.
What? Read the Bible Apologetically?
Like the word “Trinity” the word “apologetics” is not in the Bible. So what does it mean? Simply stated, it means in one context, giving a reasoned defense for why one is a Christian. Another way explaining it is that apologetics is the “communication and the defense of the Christian gospel” or to give “credible answers to curious questions” about our Christian faith? There is a more rigorous definition for apologetics, that makes it an academic discipline, but I will leave that out for the time being.
Looking at the word apologetics, it can be broken down in to two parts. The first part is the root of the word, logia (λογια) from the word logos (λογος), which means “a word.” Put with the prefix apo (απο) in this context (back or after), it means in a literal sense, “to give an answer back.”
All through the Bible we see the writers, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, giving an answer for God’s existence, and desire to intervene in the lives of sinful humanity. Apologetics is a biblical and a forgotten spiritual discipline…
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