Why Apologetics is Applicable to all of Life and a Calling for all Believers
by Mike Boling
1 Peter 3:15 – “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”
Apologetics is a term that unfortunately seems to be equated as something someone else is responsible for doing. Many believe the bulk of the responsibility for doing apologetics rests upon the shoulders of scholars, pastors, or those called to making the debate circuit.
Is apologetics really for everyone? Are we all called to be prepared to present a defense to anyone or is that job strictly for those with academic training? Is apologetics something necessary for the average lay person? Is it valuable and needed as a parent raising children? Is it useful in the workplace? Is it applicable for a husband and wife? Or again, is apologetics just something we expect someone with seminary training to do on our behalf so we can be told what to think about what it is we are to believe? The answer lies in understanding to whom Peter is speaking in 1 Peter 3:15.
Peter begins this chapter by addressing husbands and wives. He then shifts in verse 8 to addressing “all of you” and yes all of you includes all of us. The context of “all of you” (or again in our case all of us) continues with Peter noting the reality we will suffer for the sake of righteousness. It is within that context of enduring suffering for the sake of righteousness that we are commanded to always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks for the hope that is in us, ensuring we do so with all manner of gentleness and respect.
What is noticeably missing is any indication by Peter that giving a defense was the sole duty of the leaders of the local or larger body of believers. All of you truly means just that – all of you. Every single one of us is to be prepared to give this defense of the hope within us. What is this hope? It is the hope found in the message of the gospel, namely the promise of restoration and redemption with our Creator.
This hope is applicable to all of life. Thus, apologetics is not just a tool to be used by…
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