Saturday, August 28, 2010

Apologetics Significance #1

Some Christians question the usefulness or significance of studying the defense of the Christian faith, since as 1 Corinthians 2:13-14 teaches that, "This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."  

Because of this apologetics should not center too much on convincing people to believe based on logical persuasion.  However, there is a clear mandate in scripture for apologetics.  For examples check out 1 Peter 3:15 and 
2 Corinthians 2:5 on your own.

At the end of an Apologetics test, I threw out a free question which was simply, "What is the most significant thing you've learned so far during this course?"

Here are two of the responses:

"It strengthened my own faith tremendously because it answered a lot of my doubts.  Also now if any of my friends or someone I meet has any doubts or questions, I can answer them and help strengthen their faith as well." 

"I think this lesson definitely strengthened my faith and ability to explain the reasons why I believe certain things.  The most significant thing I learned was about the time gaps.  I never realized that the Bible was written so closely to when the actual events happened."

1 comment:

  1. If I may toot my own armchair apologist horn for a moment. Although many great Christian apologists who have far more claim to authority than I would disagree, It's long been my contention that Apologetics should be more than just a subset of evangelism.

    Is apologetics a useful evangelical tool? Of course it is. There are stumbling blocks that prevent certain people from reaching the cross and apologetics can help tear them down. but that is one of many uses for apologetics.

    Prayer is also useful in evangelism. But evangelism is far from the only context in which I want to pray.

    Instead I'd argue that apologetics should be a theological endeavor undertaken by Christians to bolster their understanding of their own faith. To make it more defensible, more robust. Such that, should anyone ask we can glorify God with a more complete communication of what is true and why, while should nobody ask, we will have undertaken a spiritual discipline which is valuable in it's own right to help us, even if nobody else, understand that these are not just religious ideas is submit assent to, these are real facts about the real world.