Apologetics Is Secondary to the Gospel

by Alan Shlemon

There are a few voices out there that say my work is misguided because I care about apologetics more than the Gospel. I shouldn’t be teaching on subjects like Islam, homosexuality, and abortion. They say if I start talking to a non-Christian, I shouldn’t bring up apologetics, but rather tell them about the Gospel.

I agree. That is, I agree the first thing we should focus on is the Gospel. I don’t agree that I care more about apologetics or that my work is misguided. Let me explain.

Yes, the Gospel is of utmost importance. We are commanded to proclaim the message of reconciliation to all people (2 Cor. 5:18–19). That should be our primary goal.

Many times, however, people don’t accept Christ and express doubts, objections, or concerns with Christianity. That’s when apologetics comes in. The purpose at that point is to listen carefully to the person’s concern and ask God to help you clarify the truth. Apologetics, therefore, is about removing obstacles people have to the Gospel. That’s why being acquainted with various objections (like the ones I teach about and many others) is helpful.

Notice, then, that I believe everything is secondary to the Gospel. All apologetics is secondary, albeit still important, to the message of reconciliation we’re called to communicate to non-Christians. How does this work out in my teaching? Here are some examples using three topics I often teach on…

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Apologetics Is Secondary to the Gospel | Stand to Reason