by Rob Lundberg
Wrapping up this series on why apologetics is useful to the believer’s walk and ministry, the title of this post might raise some curiosity about why apologetics might be practical. Hopefully everything that we have shared in this series has responded to the arguments toward those “naysayers” and critics thinking who believe that there is no use for apologetics in the church, in the Christian walk, or in our personal ministries.
As I wrap this series, I want to share with you what I believe to be seven great reasons for apologetics being practical in the Christian life.
- Apologetics helps us exercise our minds. Reading books, listening to apologetics podcasts, doing an in-depth study in the Scriptures, and even watching You Tube debates or question and answer sessions (Q & A’s) with John Lennox, Frank Turek William Lane Craig, and others can exercise our minds and stimulate our thinking ability, by listening to the questions being presented and listening and re-listening to the answers. Also building your book library and reading a good book on a particular area in apologetics is very good for your personal equipping and for building your own portfolio of responses to the challenging questions posed toward Christianity.
- The discipline of apologetics connects some of the main disciplines of thinking together. The Christian mind has the possibility of touching every major academic discipline. This is because we are commanded to love God, not just with our hearts and souls, but also with our mind. The discipline of apologetics assists in this because it is multifaceted, drawing in many of the academic disciplines together to show that Christianity is true. Philosophy, science, history, and theology become an interwoven tapestry reflecting the mind of Christ, rather than isolated subjects that are thought to be futile and unnecessary. Bringing all the disciplines together shows the harmony of how Christianity is a robust and worldview and shows how Christ is Lord over all the academic disciplines of thought.
- Engaging in apologetics prompts us to be lifelong learners. The student is not greater than their teacher and when it comes to apologetics, there is plenty of apologetics content to learn. There is an old saying, “the more you know about God, the more you love Him.” Because of the many methodologies (presuppositional, classical, evidential, etc) and areas of doing apologetics (biblical, ethical, archaeological, philosophical, creation/evolution, etc.) we will find ourselves not wanting for growing in our knowledge and confidence in the Lord, and the truthfulness of the Christian faith. As a result, we will find ourselves on the journey of a lifelong adventure in yearning for a life toward gaining knowledge and wisdom.
- Engaging in apologetics also helps in the shaping our voting decisions. Studying ethical issues helps us decide where we stand on key election topics. Since theology is the study of God, it is important to have a sound biblical theology. When it comes to voting decisions it is sad to see that many Christians are loyal to a party or cling to issues that reflect a “happiness quest” rather than a “truth quest.” Having a good apologetic helps us in these issues. For if one’s theology is bad, the chances are that one’s ethical starting points are going to be faulty as well. If one’s ethical starting points are bad, then they will be reflected in their moral behavior and decision making. If the morals are bad, then the chances are that one’s political leanings will be skewed as well. Having a good apologetic rooted in a sound biblical worldview helps keep our voting decisions square with a biblical minded conscience.
- Sharing about apologetics builds various skills. This point speaks into “doing apologetics.” There are many ways one can be involved in sharing the defense of the faith. Did you know that blogging aides in developing your writing skill? Sharing in a conversation or just verbally communication a truth, helps shape our public speaking skills. There are a lot of good apologetics videos, short and long. Those of us who are learning how to put videos on Youtube and Vimeo had to start someone. Sharing through video build our production skills. And another fun fact here, I just learned how to create my own memes using powerpoint or Keynote and creating a graphics files, which helps build my creativity in getting the message out. Try blogging, speaking, podcasting, or doing a video and watch where God takes you.
- It helps us to recognize the false ideas in our culture and in the church. Recognizing false ideas is key to ensure we don’t start to follow those ideas and suffer from their damaging consequences. Some of the cultural hot buttons like relativism, religious pluralism and pluralization, gender confusion, sexual dysphorias as a norm, and issues on life from womb to tomb, are all issues that the church faces today. In fact some of these issues are dividing Christians and families. What is the response of a biblical Christian worldview to the issues?Also when it comes to false teaching in the church, there are a lot of Christians on a “happy quest,” rather than a “truth quest.” Church music being sung in many churches are laced with non biblical theology, and hints of New Apostolic Reformation applications. Cultic teachings from contemplative prayer to emergent church practices trying the “restore” the church with a different idea of restoration that is foreign to a biblical worldview.
This section could go into more detail and perhaps it will be fodder for a future blog post or two or three. So let’s move to the last one. What else can we learn.
- Incorporating apologetics into our walks can also teach us basic logic and formation of arguments. Many Christians think that logic was just a subset teaching in geometry, but we use or attempt to use logic on a daily basis. The arguments for the existence of God incorporate logical argumentation of a premise, another premise bringing forth a conclusion. Using logic also helps us understand and assess arguments more effectively and identify logical fallacies in other people’s thinking.All one has to do is sit down with someone who is professing atheist, new ager, Hindu, Muslim or someone with a smorgasbord of ideas and let them speak. You will be finding yourself finding the holes an argument. Critical thinking and logic help in responding to someone “with gentleness and respect.”
This post is the conclusion of a series on how apologetics helps the believers’ discipleship and ministry. I hope you have enjoyed the posts. If you have any questions about anything you have read, please use the information below to contact me. I would love to know how you have enjoyed this post as well as the others, and if it has helped you the way we set out to do.
 I have found that those who have any kind of criticism toward the discipline of apologetics really have not recently attempted to share their faith.
 Pluralization is where there are a competing number of worldviews and no one worldview is dominant over another.