Christian Apologetics: what's that?

Christian Apologetics: what’s that?

Christian Apologetics

  • What is apologetics and why is it important?
  • Understanding the nature of faith
  • Know your audience

What is apologetics and why is it important?

Christian apologetics has to be done in the context of the Great Commission, Matthew 28. Christian apologetics requires thinking, yes. But, it is not to be done isolated from everyday reality. We believe that ideas, worldviews, and ideologies impact our lives, societies, and the world.

Christian apologetics has to be done for two main reasons.

First, it helps Christians better understand that their faith is reasonable, it makes sense. An “unexamined faith” is not worth believing, someone said. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. But always strive to find good answers. When the book “The DaVinci Code” was published, a few Christians were alarmed. But they got over it quickly. Why? Well, the book was of a certain genre, it was “fiction.” Moreover, the science of “textual criticism” was strong enough to defend the reliability of the New Testament. Furthermore, historically, things were not accurately presented.

Second, so we can help others understand what the Christian faith is all about. Christian apologetics deals with the whole of reality. It is a worldview. It claims, like all other worldviews, to explain what a “life worth living” is. Does your worldview help you face the good and not so good times? Is it liveable?

Christian apologetics tries to find what the real issue of rejecting faith is. Is it a myth? (maybe they reject a god we also would reject) a mood? There are different reasons why people may reject faith: Someone said that there are reasons of the mind, memory, culture, and the heart.

Aspects of Christian apologetics

Christian apologetics does three things.

It defends the Christian faith from objections. What are some of the objections to the Christian faith that you think hold people back from the Christian faith? It commends the richness of the Christian faith. It shows the beauty of our faith.

Christianity has the depth and the ability to explain reality as it is. The power of the Christian faith to explain reality is appealing to me personally.

It is our responsibility to translate our Christian faith in a way that helps people understand the message. We want to make sure that what we say is not misunderstood.

Understanding the nature of “faith”

Some people think that faith is taking a blind leap to the dark without any evidence or good reasons. So is faith unreasonable? Is faith a leap to the dark without any evidence? We have to understand the nature of faith in order to be able to answer these questions adequately. Is faith only for people that are ignorant and stupid? A student once told me that a lecturer told her that if she believes in God then she is stupid. I talked to a lecturer at Erasmus university a few years ago and he told me that faith is not reasonable.

Faith is a normal way of being human

Someone said that our convictions are formed in three different ways. Those that are formed through logical deduction and reasoning. Those that are formed by empirical observation. Thirdly, those that are formed by neither of the above two.

For instance, we hold different things as true without any absolute proof. Can you think of some convictions humans have that they hold as true and yet cannot justify either logically or scientifically by observation?

Human rights, for instance, is one of them. Or when we say that something is evil. Or any statement like “religion is evil,” as the New Atheists would say.

The real issue, therefore, is not whether you have “faith,” but what kind of faith do you have? That’s the real issue. Is your faith justified belief? Therefore, faith is not necessarily incompatible with reason. The Christian faith is reasonable and evidence-based.

Know your audience

It is important to understand the worldview of other people. We can understand what others believe only if we listen carefully and ask questions. Moreover, we have to be consistent with what we believe and live out our faith daily and in every situation. Only then will we be prepared to give a reason for our hope that is within us.

The apostle Peter says, “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”

Christian apologetics is a very important part of our efforts to be a good witness of Jesus Christ.

 

Notes

– Mere Apologetics, Alister McGrath. Very good introduction book for Christian apologetics.

– Bible, NIV

– No Doubt About It, Win Corduan. This is a useful book, not easy to find though, that introduces the basic elements of Christian apologetics.

– Proofreading, Dan Truitt

 

 

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