I have always been interested, as a minister, in apologetics. The word could be deceiving, and has nothing to do with making an apology. On the contrary, Christian apologetics is a field of Christian theology that aims to present historical, reasoned, and evidential bases for Christianity, defending it against objections.
At times, I feel as Christians we have the right and duty to defend our beliefs. Currently. I am studying a book titled “Mere Apologetics: How to Help Seekers & Skeptics Find Faith” by Alister McGrath. According to McGrath, our mandate has been given by Christ in the Great
Commission both with content for teaching and power for execution. Christ’s word is what we teach and God’s presence is what Jesus promised. That’s why when we are about doing the Masters business never are we to think we’re alone.
We are to understand apologetics as the reasoned defense of the Faith which must be practiced with gentleness and respect toward outsiders—even those who are our persecutors. Apologetics defends, commends, and translates the Faith to seekers and believers. When defending we must answer honest questions and be person relative. When commending we must show the wonder and splendor of the kingdom. And when translating, we must do so exegetically, hermeneutically and humanly explain terms so that a child can understand our meaning.
Christians wanting to grow in their faith need to and must find answers to their questions. They must mine the riches of the faith and get proficient at explaining it creatively without losing the substance of the gospel. How desperate we are for church goers to be gospel proclaimers, not just attendees to hear a message.
It all begins with each and every one of us studying and knowing the Word of God. One reason to study the Bible is to learn what it has to say firsthand. Whether one is a supporter or critic of the Bible, or perhaps just neutral or uninterested in the topic, history has demonstrated that the Bible cannot be ignored. Considering that the Bible is important to three major world religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – it is worthy of study. Also, the recent rise of hostile criticism towards the Bible itself and religion in general also makes it worthy of study. Sometimes the critics do not always quote the Bible correctly or in context.
Knowing what it says firsthand and having some knowledge of the context is helpful in understanding not only current events, but key ideas the Bible addresses such as the nature and existence of God, the human condition, the biblical pattern of redemption and salvation and ethics.
We learn together, every Sunday, another wonderful lesson from the Word of God. My message is that we make apologists instead of the uninformed and lost critic. By taking a friend to church, we will continue to expand those who will finally find the truth in life, and help the lost.
We do this not just for our church, but for the community, and the greater community, our world. So, if you have some tough questions and need answers, that magnificent book, The Bible will help you along the way. Let’s study it together, every Sunday!
Peace be with you,