What Does the Bible Say about Defending the Faith?
Christian Apologetics Training
Why, as Christians, should we study apologetics? The primary reason is that the Bible commands us to defend the faith. But that apologetics is a biblical discipline is also shown by the fact that it was used by Jesus and the apostles in their own evangelism.
So what does the Bible say about defending the faith? Quite a lot. Let’s consider these points in order.
1. Bible verses that call us to study apologetics.
The clearest biblical mandate for using apologetics in our evangelism comes from 1 Peter 3:15:
…in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense [apologia] to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
Here we are called to defend our faith when conversing with non-Christians by giving reasons to believe the Christian message. This entails, of course, that we ourselves know the reasons to believe as well, and the best way to do that is by studying apologetics.
In addition to this passage, Jude 3 also calls us to “contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.” Finally, apologetics plausibly fits in with the general biblical command to love God with our minds. This command is found in Mark 12:29-30: “love the Lord your God…with all your mind.” Romans 12:2, as well, tells us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Certainly one way to be so transformed is by understanding how what we know about the world supports the Christian worldview, something we will gain through studying apologetics.
2. Jesus used apologetics in his evangelism.
When sharing the gospel with those around him, Jesus appealed to fulfilled prophecy to show that he was the Christ (Luke 24:25-27). Jesus appealed to his miracles to prove his divinity (John 14:11). Finally, Jesus presented his resurrection as the primary sign that backed up his radical claims (Matt. 12:38-42). Thus, he did not simply preach that he was the divine savior of the world and expect his listeners to exercise blind faith, but constructed arguments to show why it was reasonable for them to exercise such a faith. Given our call to imitate Christ in all things, we should follow him here as well…
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