5 Important Philosophical-Apologetics Terms in the New Testament
by Kenneth Samples
There are five very important philosophical-apologetics terms in the New Testament that every Christian should have some familiarity with. Learning and appreciating these key terms will aid believers in both their theological and apologetics understanding. And being so armed, the Christian is helped in their evangelistic and apologetics ventures in the service of Christ.
Let’s explore these key New Testament terms by defining them and then briefly examining their philosophical-apologetics significance:
1. Logos (Greek: λόγος), translated as “word, discourse, or reason”
The Greek word logos is the root for the English term “logic.” In John 1:1, the preincarnate Jesus is called the “logos” (or “Word”), who subsequently becomes enfleshed (John 1:14). Early Christian scholars therefore referred to Jesus Christ as “the logic of God” or “the speech of God.” What came to be known in Christian history as the “Logos doctrine” affirmed that God created the world through the use of his Word (the logic or wisdom of the Second Person of the Trinity). Being made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–27), human beings are equipped with the necessary rational endowments to trace the world’s intelligibility, thus making the logical and scientific enterprises possible. The Logos doctrine also implied that the gift of faith is compatible with the rational elements found in the world and within the human mind (according to historic Christianity, faith and reason are therefore compatible). Thus, when believers employ their minds in such enterprises as logic, rhetoric, and science, they use their God-given gifts to bring glory to him.
2. Apologia (Greek: ἀπολογία), translated as “a reasoned defense”
The Greek word apologia is the root for the English term “apologetics.” Apologia and its root forms are found in the New Testament (Acts 26:2; Romans 1:20; Philippians 1:7, 16), with 1 Peter 3:15 revealing the mandate imploring Christians to be ready to give an answer in explaining and defending their faith. Through Christian history, apologetics became known as the enterprise by which apologists sought to give a reasoned defense of the truth of Christianity. Today, Christian apologetics involves the use of various disciplines to defend the faith, including the philosophical, historical, literary, and scientific…
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