Apologetics and the Church: Building the faithful and winning the lost
by Paul Coulter
Apologetics is an awful name for a great idea. It sounds like we are apologising for something – desperately trying to convince people to believe – or trying to make other people apologise to us – arrogant people more interested in winning arguments than winning people. So, let me begin defining ‘apologetics’:
Thinking through and sharing a reasoned case for the Christian faith.
Apologetics is essential for the internal health and external mission of the Church.
Faith has its reasons
Apologetics focuses on concepts like logic, evidence, reason and explanation. That means it has limits. We don’t enter or grow in God’s kingdom through reason, but by repentance and faith in Christ and the regenerating and transforming work of the Holy Spirit. Not all of our experience of God can be explained through reason, any more than our love for a child or spouse can be dispassionately reasoned out.
Reason alone isn’t enough, but that is not to say that it is unimportant. Faith is more than rational, but it is not irrational or even counter-rational…