Why Apologetics?

by Lisa Quintana

Lots of people question why apologetics is a worthwhile area of Christian study and knowledge. Some see it as puffing oneself up with lofty arguments or academic expertise, as if it’s a compromise with the world versus a spiritual state of being. Since I’ve earned my Master’s degree in apologetics, I have made plenty of friends in the field. I’ve never met an apologist, personally, who in any way wanted to “compromise with the world,” as if the study of apologetics, philosophy, or metaphysics would in some way be a compromise with the world’s system. Sadly, however, this is a perspective that many Christians have: an anti-intellectual attitude that sees academic pursuit as somehow compromising faith with worldly knowledge. That’s a misunderstanding of apologetics.

The actual term, “apologetic,” comes from the Greek word “apologia,” and is used in 1 Peter 3:15, where he encourages believers to: “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense[apologia] to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” (NASB). Apologetics is, in essence, case making for Christ.

Apologetics has helped me to counter the argument that faith is blind. I hate that term, “blind faith.” So, what makes someone have faith? Many people think it’s purely a choice based on personal experiences or opinion. But what separates a justified belief from a mere opinion or experience? Faith was never meant to be blind, but should be based on sound reasoning and good inferences.

A Mormon claims a “warming in the heart,” leading to belief in Joseph Smith’s testimony, who claimed to be a latter-day Saint, and wrote another testament. Mohammad said he was the final prophet in the Koran. Unitarians believe all religions are basically the same, and it’s intolerant to claim there is only one way to God. Atheists don’t believe in God. And on and on…

Many beliefs exist, but do they have evidence to back them up? Once thoroughly examined, Christianity remains the most verifiable faith…

Why Apologetics?