An Apology of Apologetics
by Eric Pelletier
The study and discipline of apologetics seems to be making a comeback in recent years, but not without its struggles. Apologetics seems to be that single Christian practice that is most misunderstood yet depended on most with regard to evangelism. It’s a discipline that requires intensive amounts of study yet the application of it seems to be very simple. Our ability to understand complex philosophical and theological concepts is important but only insofar that we can convey it to people simply.
Now before we get too far into this I want to define what apologetics is. Apologetics is the discipline of giving a reasoned defense of your belief or position. Apologetics is not being argumentative nor is it the belief that we can argue people into our beliefs. It is quite simply giving a reasoned defense. More specifically, with regard to our belief in Christ, what we’re doing is giving a reasoned defense for why we believe orthodox Christianity to be true. In this post I would like to address 2 objections and then offer two apologies (defenses) for doing Christian apologetics.
First Objection: I’m not going to apologize for being a Christian!
Well to this I have to say: I am glad you’re not apologizing. I see no reason to abandon your faith or apologize for it. Jesus did not apologize for his claims, neither did his disciples, and neither should we. We have a belief that is logically consistent, empirically adequate, and experientially
relevant. Those three tests for truth show us that we have, unlike many other worldviews, a belief that is rooted in a Person and rooted in truth. Why on earth would you be sorry for that? When we are talking about giving an apologia we are talking about giving a defense, or reasons, for our beliefs and not being sorry for them.
Second Objection: No one comes to faith through arguments!
This is something I have heard a few times and I have to say that I agree with this. There is no objection among most apologists that we do not “win” converts or that we are arguing people into the kingdom of God. What needs to be clarified here is that we are giving evidences, or reasons, for why we hold our to our beliefs. We can pray for, minister to, live our Christian lives as best as possible, even give a defense for our faith; but at the end of the day it is not us who converts someone.
Now let’s move on to the two main reasons I think we should all be trained in apologetics…
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