It’s a common scenario. A well-meaning Christian opens up their mouth for Jesus only to be assaulted with hostile questions. This can happen anywhere – at school, work, a friend’s house, or on Facebook. Many believers are intimidated and feel defeated in such situations. Nothing in their discipleship has prepared them to dauntlessly defend their faith.
What is Apologetics?
“Apologetics” is the study of evidence and arguments for Christianity. It gives reasons why the Christian faith is valid and reliable. Our English word comes from a Greek word (apologia) that means “defense.” So apologetics puts up a strong defense for faith in Jesus and obedience to Him.
Why Apologetics Matters
Apologetics plays a tremendous role in discipleship. It produces enormous spiritual growth by showing you why your faith in Jesus makes sense and withstands scrutiny. It also produces boldness and tenacity in evangelism by equipping you to anticipate and respond to objections.
Most Christian teenagers stop attending church after graduating from high school. This is partly because liberal college professors delight in tearing down the faith of unsuspecting freshmen. It’s also because the amount of temptation and opportunities to sin in college are simply overwhelming.
Adults are ignorant about the Bible. This makes them prone to accept false teaching, for they are unable to critically compare what they hear with what the Bible says. Adults are also inactive in sharing their faith, for they feel unable to answer others’ questions. This makes them prone to timidity and giving up easily.
Apologetics matters for both teenagers and adults. The ability to defend your faith is crucial for Christians of all ages. Apologetics equips you to defend your faith by forcing you to identify what you believe and why you believe it.
Know What You Believe
Many Christians cannot explain their own beliefs. When asked, they give incomplete answers such as “the Bible,” “Jesus,” or “the gospel.” Some are content to admit, “I don’t know!” They don’t take the time to thoughtfully and carefully form their own beliefs. But you must know exactly what you believe in order to defend your faith.
Try this: take out a piece of paper and write out your beliefs. Put into your own words what you believe about God, the Bible, Christianity, and current events. Write out any questions or doubts that you have as well.
Know Why You Believe
Many Christians also cannot explain why they hold their beliefs. Some are raised in church and believe because that’s what they were taught. Others accept the preacher’s views uncritically and agree with others at church in order not to cause arguments or “stir the pot.” Most just believe whatever makes them feel good rather than what makes the most sense. But you must know exactly why you believe in order to defend your faith.
Try this: after writing out your beliefs, write out why you hold each belief. Put into your own words the reasons why you believe. Make an attempt to answer your own questions and resolve your own doubts as well.
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