Someone once told the the story of a son of a country preacher who went off to Bible college. When he got to school, he signed up for his Freshman classes, and was shocked to see that one of his many classes was “Apologetics”. In a frantic panic he got on the phone and called his Dad.
“Dad, they’re trying to make me take this class called ‘apologetics’, and I’m not gonna do it. I ain’t sorry for none of it!” Laughing at his son’s confusion, the old preacher explained that apologetics had nothing to do with apologizing, and everything to do with defending the faith. While we might laugh at a story like this, it should frighten us. it should frighten us because it’s a true story. It should scare us more because of what it reveals: the church as a whole is ignorant about why it believes any of the doctrines that it believes. Though it might sound sad, many of the people in our pews react the same way the first time they hear about apologetics. Most of us don’t know that there is evidence for the christian faith, let alone that we should know that evidence.
So what’s the big deal anyway? What’s the point of learning all this evidence? Isn’t blind faith better anyway? I want to challenge you as a Christian to take a minute to consider apologetics, and the reason that it’s so vital to your Christian health.
First and foremost, we should realize that apologetics is commanded in the New Testament. In 1 Peter 3:15, the Apostle Peter commands his audience to set God apart in their hearts. God was and is to be the most sacred person in our hearts, and Peter gives us a very specific way that we do this: apologetics. The verse reads, “But sanctify the LORD God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” We set apart God as holy in our hearts and lives as we prepare to give an answer to the people who question us. The word Peter uses for “give an answer” is actually the word apologia, and it means to give a plea. It gives us the idea of a defense attorney presenting evidence for the defendant’s innocence. So Peter commands us to be good defense attorneys, and give the evidence for the faith to the people who ask us. If this wasn’t enough, Paul showed great concern for apologetics in Philippians 1 by saying that he was set for the defense and confirmation of the gospel. He also instructed Titus to be able to convince gainsayers in Titus 1:9. The New Testament actually uses the word apologia 8 times, a good sign that it’s pretty important.
Second, apologetics is important, because we live in a world of skeptics. Now more than ever, people are beginning to doubt the truth of the faith, and Christians are leaving the church at a record pace. This is where apologetics comes in. Apologetics steps in, and separates fact from fiction, and confidently answers objections to the Christian faith. It is a method that tells the skeptic that Christianity has ground to stand on.
Finally, apologetics will rescue you in your own seasons of doubt. When those moments of weakness or despair come, and you begin to wonder if any of it’s true, apologetics acts as a shelter to protect you from storms of doubt. It shelters you from skepticism by reminding you that the evidence all points back to Christ. You are never safer than when you are confident in the evidence.
So if you’re reading this, I want to challenge you: think apologetically. Ask questions and seek answers. Research the evidence, and go where it points you. Be a Christian who isn’t afraid to think, and who is confident that the evidence is taking you to Christ. If that sounds like a challenge that you want to take, then I welcome you aboard. Apologetics is a journey, and, guided by evidence, takes us to Jesus. So let’s start on this path together. Together, let’s explore the evidence. Let’s tackle the objections, and let’s run to Christ!