Should Christians learn and use apologetics?
Reasons given for answering “Yes”
Learning and using apologetics is commanded by God. After all, the first step of making disciples (per Jesus’s command)1 is making Christians—evangelizing. This is relevant because, like the early Church fathers, the apostles relentlessly used and encouraged apologetics in evangelism. For example:
1 Peter 3:15 — “Always be ready to give a defense [apologia] for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” Jude 1:3– “…contend earnestly for the faith”; i.e Phillipians 1:7 — “…the defense and confirmation of the gospel…” Acts 17:2– “And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence…”; 18:28 — “…he powerfully refuted the Jews in public”
Further examples abound. R.C. Sproul was right:
“The defense of the faith is not a luxury or intellectual vanity. It is a task appointed by God….”2
- I refer here to the ‘Great Commission’ (Mt 16:19-20), to “Go… make disciples…”
- Defending Your Faith (Crossway Books), 9.
Learning and using apologetics helps/serves believers
After all, through apologetics, believers can bring relief to Christians tortured by doubts. Plausibly, God allows some sufferings in order to give us opportunities to serve one another1 and being used as an apologist by God in this capacity is a great good.2 Many believers feel apologetics played a vital role in their conversion or reconversion, but also the prevention of their deconversion.3 Even Bible-students and pastors can be ill-equipped to answer basic questions, often needing relief themselves.4 Even entry level apologists can have a lot to offer their Christian fellows who have no one else to turn to.
Truly, one cannot be an active apologist for very long without…
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