Why You Should Use Apologetics for Your Own Growth
Even if no one is around to hear your evidences or respond to your arguments, if your own faith is strengthened, the time you spend studying is worth it.
by Amanda Fischer
Have you ever heard the expression “preach the gospel to yourself”?
I’m not sure where it originated, but the idea is that the gospel is more than a once-and-done lesson for us. We are forgetful people and we need to hear it again…and again. We aren’t necessarily going to hear the gospel from someone else every day, so the duty lies to us.
Apologetics works the same way.
Usually, we think of apologetics as something we do with other people. It’s a debate, or at least a conversation. It’s a question and answer exchange. So how can you apply apologetics to yourself? What does it mean to practice apologetics for your own growth?
To tackle this question, we must understand what the purpose of apologetics is, and what our motivations are for engaging in it.
The purpose of apologetics
As the oft-quoted 1 Peter 3:15 says, as Christ-followers, we should always be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have. In the context of the chapter, the idea becomes clear: be a living witness for unbelievers, and when they ask you why you live like you do, have answers for them.
Of course, there are other passages that deal with the components of what we consider apologetics, which talk about making arguments and tearing down strongholds. And there’s the word itself, apologia, which simply means “to give a defense.” This leaves a lot of room for how exactly we are to give this defense, and what form it will take.
So to apply this to the topic at hand: Do you ever answer your own questions? Do you ever defend yourself, against yourself, to yourself? (Don’t even try to tell me you’ve never argued with yourself.)
In case this is getting confusing, let’s look at an example…