WHAT IS CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS?
“Apologetics” is a term thrown around quite a bit today. Just what is Christian Apologetics, anyhow?
Christian Apologetics has had a long history going all the way back to the New Testament itself. In the Book of Acts the Christians presented reasoned answers to various charges made against Christianity. To the Jews the church pointed out that Christ was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. To the Gentiles the church argued that God was calling them to turn from superstitious religions to the true God revealed in Jesus Christ. In all of their apologetics the early Church emphasized the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact, they called it the central pillar on which all of Christianity either stood or fell.
WHY CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS?
The Bible teaches in 1 Peter 3:15 that all Christians should be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks for the reason for their hope in Jesus Christ. Of course, for some Christians this will be a very special ministry calling, but all Christians should have some part in it.
Since sin has corrupted the human mind (Jer. 17:9-10; Rom. 1:18-32; Eph. 4:17-18), good arguments alone will not overcome unbelief. This does not mean that we abandon the task of Christian Apologetics but, rather, that we see Christian Apologetics arguments as means used by the Holy Spirit to illuminate darkened minds of non-Christians. Christian Apologetics should therefore always be done in conjunction with prayer and with dependence on the Holy Spirit.
WHAT DOES CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS DEAL WITH?
Christian Apologetics deals, first and foremost, with answering the outright denials of Christianity which are found in atheism and in other religions. But Christian Apologetics also deals with answering the distortions of Christianity which are found primarily in the cults, as well as in some professing Christian groups within the Christian community itself. Thus, Christian Apologetics must answer all challenges to the orthodox, biblical Christian faith — no matter who the challengers are.