Apologetics: It’s Not About Saying You’re Sorry
Apologetics. It sounds like you want to apologize for something. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
The word apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia (áπολογíα), pronounced appo-LOH-jiyah.
Apologia means “speaking in defense” or “to give a defense of.”
Apologetics is the discipline of defending a position through the systematic use of information.
Your Faith Is Not Blind
Once you’ve heard the truth about God and his Son, there’s nothing wrong with quickly accepting that truth and living your life according to His Word. Being able to explain why you believe what you believe is not necessary for salvation.
But it is necessary for effectively carrying out the Great Commission to go forth and share God’s truth with every nation and tongue.
This is where apologetics comes in.
While it is true that God’s Word can stand on its own and needs no defending, it does not follow that we should shirk our responsibility to provide answers for anyone asking questions.
This charge to incorporate apologetics comes from the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:15:
“Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect. . .” (HCSB)
The Apostle Paul gives us a good example for how to teach the world about Christianity. Paul was known for becoming all things to all people.
When he was speaking to Romans, he related them like a Roman.
When he was speaking to Jews, he related to them like a Jew.
When he was speaking to Gentiles, he related to them like Gentiles.
Paul knew how to relate considering he a Jew, a Roman citizen, and a former persecutor of Christians.
Apologetics is described in the Apologetics Study Bible:
“Apologetics contributes to the restoration of a view of the Bible as a source of knowledge of its subject matter as opposed to a source of true belief to be accepted by a blind act of the will.”¹
“Thomas, I am going to send you to a doubting and questioning people. The spear-thrusted side of mine will one day be yours for telling the world hat you have seen, felt, and believed.”²
We live in a world full of doubting Thomases. Perhaps you used to be one. Perhaps you are one now.
It’s natural to have questions. It’s natural to seek answers. It’s natural for Christians to want to provide them.
If you want to be understood as a thoughtful and caring messenger of God’s truth, and not just another salesman hounding a generation swaddled in a blanket of marketing since birth, learning why you believe what you believe is a crucial aspect of developing a reasonable faith.
We are living in the midst of great apologists for the Christian faith.
The substance and content are there. The work has been done.
- If you’ve failed to explore the spiritual side of life, you are missing out.
Who is your favorite apologist?
Photo Credit: PD
¹ Bible: Understand Why You Believe (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2007), Kindle ed., loc. 1435.
² Ravi Zacharias, Walking from East to West (Grand Rapids:Zondervan, 2006), Kindle ed., loc. 240.
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About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.