Why Apologetics Is Crucial in Evangelism Today
by Dan Story
I believe that apologetics must be employed in evangelistic encounters more today than anytime in church history. We live in a world that is secular, pluralistic, and morally relativistic. Increasingly, people today accept all religious and philosophical worldviews as equally true and worthy of acceptance—or totally reject the notion of religious truth altogether. Likewise, the majority of Americans believe that all moral behavior is acceptable so long as it doesn’t “hurt anyone else.” Ethics are not universal. Nor do they originate from a transcendent God who sets the standards of moral behavior and holds people accountable for how they behave.
This post-Christian and postmodern world holds to the premise that there are no absolute truths that apply to everyone equally. Christianity and Christian ethics are no longer relevant. In fact, orthodox Christians are seen as bigoted, narrow-minded, and out of touch with reality, because we refuse to accept other religions as “paths to God” or to consider homosexuality, pornography, or abortion as permissible in a moral society.
In light of the cultural war raging between Christians and non-Christians, it’s crucial that all believers engage in evangelism—as our Lord directs in Acts 1:8. But to evangelize successfully in a secular, pluralistic, and postmodern world means that we must be prepared to share more than the gospel message. We must learn to defend our beliefs, to challenge the unbeliever’s beliefs, and to demonstrate that Christianity is not only emotionally and spiritually satisfying, but also relevant to modern culture. Unless we remove the intellectual and other obstacles raised by non-Christians, they will be unwilling to listen to or consider the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Even more important, we must demonstrate that Christianity is truth. In other words, if God exists, and if He has revealed Himself to mankind…
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