Introduction To Integrated Christian Apologetics
The word “apologetics” comes from the Greek word “apologia”, meaning to “make a defense”. Apologetics is a defense of one’s faith or persuasion. Christian Apologetics is therefore a defense of the Christian Faith offering the listener reasons why Christianity can be trusted and is believable.
With the growing followers of science and technology, birthing atheistic convictions around the globe, all religions are under assault from all corners. The Prime Minister of Australia on ABC News, even went as far as making a public confession that she does not believe God exists. Those who voted her into parliament probably share the same sentiment.
Christianity of all religions continues to receive the hardest thump, because news reporters and anchors have given it much negative publicity. This is possibly because it has the largest following in the world, and it is good for business. Christians are being questioned about their faith world over. Many Christians are caught off guard, because they have not prepared themselves for such moments and questions. Many do not commit themselves to study of the scriptures and prayer. Some Christians are struggling holding on to their faith, because they do not have answers to some of life’s questions. It would be naïve to think that the world apart from Christianity has know knowledge at all about the Christian faith. The world is well informed through the media.
Among Christians the debate over the Bible being the infallible word of God is a contentious issues. If this is so, how are we to defend the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Students of the Bible are facing these contentions in Seminary or Bible Colleges. The contentions and questions about the Christian faith is nothing new. It has been around for as long as the Christian faith existed, but with new vigor especially in the past four centuries.
What is the solution to all these questions and contentions? Apologetics, apologetics, apologetics! No one has all the answers. Even the Son of God! He does not know when he will return except the Father. There are many qualified and committed Christians who are answering the critics and contributing to research work to defend their Christian faith. Their published work is accessible to anyone who is interested. Jesus said, “Bless those who persecute you”. When no person can ever hope to answer all the questions that are put to him, but every Christian should definitely know something about what godly men are doing in the field of Christian apologetics. Today the Christian society has numerous highly qualified and dedicated men belonging to all disciplines of study who are trying to answer each and every question that has been hurled against the Bible. No individual can face all of it, and it is natural for individuals to become fearful of these attacks, but once a person realizes that so many people are working on these problems, then he can rest assured that it will not be long before the answer is published. In fact, today there are several thousand scholars around the world who are publishing their conclusions in defense of the Christian faith through hundreds of professional journals and popular magazines. They are accessible to anyone who is willing to take interest. The Bible shall always be attacked, and there will always be people whose faith will be shaken by such attacks. Only the proper use of Christian Apologetics will help such people.
A Biblical Basis for Christian Apologetics
As Christians our mandate for apologetics is biblically based. In 1 Peter 3:15 it commands: “Always be prepared to make defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you”. The Greek word for defense is “Apologia” where the term “Apologetics is derived.
The author’s site provides a good definition of the character and function of Christian apologetics found in Scripture:
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