By Hank Hanegraaff
Too often people suppose the task of apologetics to be the exclusive domain of scholars and theologians. Not so! The defense of the faith is not optional. It is basic training for every Christian. And that means you!
First, the Bible informs us that apologetics is not just a nicety; it is a necessity for every believer. Writing in a world steeped in mystery cults, the apostle Peter admonished believers to “always be prepared to give an answer [apologia] to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). As such, Paul vigorously defended the gospel (Acts 17:15–34; 18:4) and charged Timothy and Titus to do the same (2 Timothy 2:23–26; 4:2–5; Titus 1:9–14).
Furthermore, apologetics is necessary for the preservation of the faith. Not only must the church defend herself against objections from without, but she must also guard against false teachings from within. Thus, Paul admonished Timothy to “preach the Word, be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. . . . They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:2–4). Defending essential Christian doctrine against perversions by pseudo-Christian cults is a crucial task of the Christian apologist.
Finally, apologetics is necessary for the cultural relevance of the church. In a post-Christian society in which theism is no longer in 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 apologists are commanded to provide defensible arguments “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
Jude v. 3 NJKV
For further study, see Hank Hanegraaff, Truth Matters, Life Matters More: The Unexpected Beauty of an Authentic Christian Life (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2019) available for your partnering gift by clicking here.
***Note the preceding text is adapted from a new Revised and Updated version of The Complete Bible Answer Book that is forthcoming. When available we will update this page with corresponding information. Until then you can still purchase or receive for your partnering gift the current version by clicking here for purchase or here for partnering gift. ***