by Rob Lundberg
Continuing on in this current series on the benefits of apologetics, I want to move into pointing out that apologetics is a biblical task or discipline. There are also numerous examples showing that apologetics is biblical or found in the Bible.
There are both New Testament and Old Testament demonstrations. For example looking to the New Testament, we find the most popular passages in Acts 25:16; 19:33; 22:1; 1 Corinthians 9:3; Philippians 1:7, 16; 2 Timothy 4:16 and 1 Peter 3:15-17.
If we were to look into the Old Testament we can find apologetics in action in God demonstrating His power before the Pharaoh with Moses (Exodus 4:1-9); again Moses and Aaron before the Pharaoh (Exodus 7:8-13); Moses (Exodus 7:17-12:30); Elijah versus the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:20-40); God responding to Israel (Isaiah 1:18); God through the mouth of Isaiah (Isaiah 48:3-5) and others.
But telling you that apologetics is in the Bible, this post is going to take it to the next step and share five practical reasons WHY apologetics is biblical. Let’s get to the real issue and start of with the first point.
- Scripture commands us to use it. Peter writing to believers who have been scattered by Roman oppression tells us in 1 Peter 3:15 – “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” Jude in his letter starts off with one intent on wanting to share the gospel with his readers, changes directions due to issues that have crept into the church, and tells his readers, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3).
Apologetics gets us prepared to make a defense for the faith.
- Apologetics allows us to follow the example of Jesus. Jesus used apologetics methods (such as asking questions) in conversations described in Mark 12:18-27 and Matthew 22:15-22. If you were to look at these passages, you and I will find that following the example of Jesus in asking questions does a couple of things. First, it opens up the assumptions of the one asking the question or presenting the objection. Secondly questions helps “defang” the objection so that one might be able to giving the answer to the question/objection.
There are numerous examples where we will find Jesus doing this to get to the bottom line of the most important thing: seeing who He really and truly is, and why is the only one that redeem the lost from our sins.
- It allows us to follow the example of the Early Church. They used Apologetics to affirm God’s existence by pointing to the events of Jesus resurrection – see especially Acts 2:29-33. The early Christians used a method of historical apologetics, referring to Israel’s history and how history and prophecy would be fulfilled by being centered on the person of Jesus Christ as Israel’s Messiah. There are many disciplines or methods for defending the faith, and the early church used what they could relate in their history and show how it pointed to Jesus.
- Apologetics shows us the importance of the events of Jesus’ life. What does it mean to say and believe that Jesus was virgin born? What does it mean to say that Jesus lived a sinless life. What did Jesus’ crucifixion and death accomplish? What does it matter that Jesus rose from the dead?
There are plenty of apologetics polemics that can be given for each of these questions. Every one of the answers to these questions, show there is good reason to trust the veracity of the Christian faith. And apologetics provides answers to these key questions.
- It coincides with reading scripture correctly. What we need today is good biblical hermeneutics and apologetics coming together to keep the American church relevant in our post Christian culture. Having a proper understanding that apologetics takes in aiding us to read Bible passages in their proper context (hermeneutics) is vitally important today, more than ever. As we work through an understanding of the historical background behind the passage and acknowledge and understand the idea that we can’t just read one Bible verse to come up with a theology, a dogma, or a pet verse to rule our lives.
We really need to read the verses around a verse or verses in order to gather the flow of thought (context). To do anything other than this, is to mishandle the Word of God and come up with faulty applications, that may lead to the next heretical viewpoint.
I think from these five reasons we can agree that there is a good biblical warrant for the discipline of apologetics. If you are still apathetic to the understanding of apologetics, chances are you have not shared your faith in recent days to see the need for apologetics in evangelism. If you have checked the Christian world, there are diverse teachings out in the American church that are not biblical and they are not theologically sound. Perhaps you have heard some of them in your Sunday School class or in the Christian media.
We can no longer sit by when we are seeing people walk away from their “faith.” Please let us know if you have any questions that have arisen from reading this post. Leave a comment below or email us at email@example.com.
Rob is a blogger, writer and public speaker on a mission to equip the believer to think and articulate what they believe and to communicate the message of the gospel to a confused culture in a chaotic, “brave new world.”
He is available to come and speak to your church, college club, or group. Find out what people are saying. If you would like to support this ministry with a one time or monthly gift, you can do that by clicking here
If you would like to book Rob for a speaking event, you can do so by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org If you have other questions about apologetics or doing apologetics, or if you are looking for apologetics resources, contact our ministry by email.