I often get the question, “Is apologetics really necessary?” Too often people suppose the task of evangelism and apologetics is the exclusive domain of scholars and theologians but that simply isn’t true.
The defense of the faith is not optional—it just plain old basic training for every Christian and that means you. The Bible informs that apologetics isn’t just a nicety, it’s a necessity. Look, writing in a world steeped in mystery cults, you have Paul vigorously defending the Gospel (Acts 17:15-34; 18:4) and then charging Timothy and Titus to do the same thing (2 Tim. 2:23-26; 4:2-5; Titus 1:9-14).
Apologetics is necessary to preserve the faith. Not only must the church defend against objections that come to her from without, she must guard against false teaching that penetrate from within. Paul admonishes Timothy “preach the Word, be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage––with great patience and careful instruction.” He then says, “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.” Instead, they will “turn their ears away from truth and turn aside to mythology.” (2 Tim 4:2-4). Defending essential Christian doctrine against perversions by pseudo-Christian cults is a critical task of Christian apologetics.
Apologetics is necessary for the cultural relevance of the church. In a post-Christian society in which theism is no longer en vogue and belief in the possibility of miracles is viewed as simpleminded superstition, apologetics creates intellectual room for the acceptance of the gospel. In place of merely pontificating dogmatic assertions, Christian apologist are commanded to provide defensible arguments and do so with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
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During our Listener Appreciation Week, we are thanking you for enabling this ministry to carry on the task of apologetics and evangelism. Please visit the Listener Appreciation Week section of our Website (http://www.equip.org/site/listener_appreciation_week) and also pick up a copy of my Complete Bible Answer Book to equip you to engage in apologetics and evangelism.