Every Christian an Apologist
by Kathy Petersen
Apologist? – does this mean we go around apologizing to everyone? No. In the classical sense, an apologist is one who gives an answer or a reasoned defense for what he believes or how he acts. When the apostle said that we are to be ready to “give an answer”, the Greek word (apologia) from which the English word “apologetics” is used. Similarly, when people are said to be “without an excuse”, the same Greek word, except in the negative, is used.
As Christians, we are all called on to be ready to give an answer, or to be apologists. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t very good at it; the idea of Christian apologetics may even seem intimidating. There are some very well-known Christian apologists and we may feel inadequate compared to them, or feel like unless we are planning to reach their lofty heights of apologetics, that there is no reason for us “little guys” even to try. However, I’m made to think of Christian apologist J. Warner Wallace who says that Christianity doesn’t need more “million dollar apologists”, but instead, Christianity needs a million “one dollar apologists”.
You can’t learn everything about everything; that’s just a fact of life. But you can learn a little about a lot of things – and indeed, we have a Biblical mandate to do so.
The field of Christian apologetics is indeed vast, but don’t let this cause you to lose heart. Instead, be thankful that there is so much good information already out there and so many different ways you can go, which allows you to become very good (even as a “one dollar apologist”) in both a general area and one or more specific areas. All Christians should be able to provide at least a simple defense/reason for why they believe in God, why they believe in Jesus, and why they believe the Bible is trustworthy. It’s also helpful to have an answer for the most common objections from non-Christians…
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