WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST
Many Christians speak of Christian apology. Indeed the subject is very important on several levels for Christians as we strive to gain trust and assurance about our own faith. And, of course, repentance also has tremendous meaning for us when we aim to help seekers resolve the psychological obstacles that hinder them from accepting Christ’s faith.
But there is also one great apology that gets overlooked, and this involves the compassion, grace, and willingness of God to be the Lord of our lives.
What is Christian apologetics in the world? Is it Christians apologizing for Christianity, maybe saying they’re sorry about the Crusades or the Inquisition? Ok, maybe not.
The meaning of the word “apology” has been blurred over the years. It comes from the Greek word “apologia,” which originally meant “a speech made in defense.” We see it used many times in the New Testament where the writer speaks of either defending oneself against others’ allegations or defending the gospel by giving reasons for believing (Acts 26:2; Phil 1:7, 16; 2 Tim 4:16; 1 Pet 3:15). The word presupposes that people believe things for reasons, so when questioned, they are obliged to give those reasons.
In our contemporary context, Christian apology becomes an exercise in formulating and transmitting the logical basis for the Christian worldview, thus commending it to the spiritual seeker for his consideration as a viable choice in the marketplace of ideas. For the Christian, apology serves the purpose of strengthening his or her belief that justification is deeply rooted in that which is acknowledged by faith. In this latter sense, the New Testament uses the Greek word “bebaioo,” meaning “to make it solid, to build, to make it secure” (Rom 15:8; 1 Cor 1:6; Heb 2:3, 13:9). It is from this faith then that the Christian will give his or her testimony with trust.
Christian apology is remarkable in that it begins with reflective dialogue, not with dogma (Acts 17:2, 18:4, 19:8), structured to convince, not to preach (Acts 18:4; 19:8). For reasons people believe things, but they must be positive reasons. Persuasion is the mechanism by which reason and belief interact. A good reason resonates with that which is true. That is, it is an indication of the facts. Loving Christian apologists bundle positive arguments for believing Christianity in terms that are culturally acceptable, in terms that society can understand.
Christians also don’t sell their religion to others merely because it works, or it’s useful. They promote the faith to seekers because they are persuaded it is real, and therefore superior to any other worldview, religious or secular in that sense. The New Testament notes that Jesus Christ is resurrected from the dead, and if this is true, then all that Jesus said and did must be valid. According to The Old Testament, God crea the world out of nothing, and if this is true, then what we have is a gift of God’s grace.
Furthermore, the Bible says that human beings were specially created by God to live in union with Him and with one another and to stewards the earth’s resources for our mutual gain and the glory of God. The Christian claims all of this is real, and theology, philosophy, history, and science all combine in this truth’s demonstration. Faith and reason, science and the Bible, critical reasoning, and religion are allies rather than enemies. They are not pugilists but partners in the declaration of God’s glory. It is the Christian apologist’s job to make this case and to encourage believers to follow the evidence wherever it leads, sure the trail will end at the cross and the empty grave.
The tradition of Christian apologetics
The Christian apologetic tradition has a long history. It extends from the church’s earliest days and is a tradition referred to in the historical Scripture record. We see a long Christian apology tradition continuing from Justin Martyr’s second-century writings to G’s more recent writings. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, William Lane Craig, and Ravi Zacharias.
These apology works have continued to demonstrate how the Resurrection, the prophecies of the Old Testament, the archeological records, the evidence of miracles, the dramatic existence of transformed lives (people hostile to the religion eventually become believers and bear witness to the religion), and many other facts support the claims of Christianity. One apology practice has appealed to the persuasive evidence which supports the Christianity message.
The Tools of Apologetics
Most jobs require specialized resources for the proper and efficient performance of the work. Substitutions may be used but at the risk of losing the job. It’s the same thing with Christian apologetics.
When using a particular tactic to assault the Christian faith, an inexperienced apologist may be able to do something. Still, without the proper resources, he would not properly refute error and defend the Bible. The following methods have been created and perfected so that the Apologist can adequately and effectively do his job of defending the religion.
Interpretation failures. This applies to the interpretation of the Bible. The Bible’s books must be read in the light of the community, and traditions were translated through. The secular mind is utterly at odds with the Bible, and those who criticize it interpret those verses to mean what they want it to be. This tool analyzes those errors and shows them.
Twisting Scriptures. There is a distinction between Bending the Scriptures and Interpretation Mistakes. Twisting of scripture is typically deliberate and used by clever debaters, whereas reading mistakes are generally accidental. Many that are Anti-Christian use this form. The Apologist should become acquainted with both approaches and be able to take effective measures to fight them.
Understanding the difficulties of the Bible.
Sometimes the Bible may seem contradictory, and some people use these apparent contradictions to attack the Bible. Using this tool, this can be dealt with. Every difficulty needs to be dealt with methodically by categorizing it. Otherwise, the difficulties would seem endless.
Scientific information. Another way to attack the Bible is through science. This tool can help a person without a formal science background to defend himself against this kind of attack. Normative sciences are the most fundamental of all types of science and scientific knowledge, with the most important being mathematics and logic.
The Logic Fallacies. Any subject, whether scientific in nature or dealing with the interpretation of the Bible, needs to be considered or thought out in a reasonable way. This is exactly what logic is all about. Sometimes, because of the complexity or ignorance of the subject, it is easy to make mistakes or draw the wrong conclusions. Those who are bent on tarnishing the truth of the Bible have refined the tools of error and logic falsity, and this is the one mainly used to attack the Bible.
Techniques for propaganda and mind manipulation. In the 20th century, propaganda and mind manipulation was prevalent. Activist Groups and dictatorial regimes have spent a significant amount of money to research these methods in greater detail. As these methods became refined, socialists and rationalists became aware of them and started using them to target the Christian faith. Since these methods are developed scientifically, it will be difficult to defend oneself against its critics. That is why it requires proper knowledge of this method.
Debating Techniques. Activist debaters who are against the Christian faith do not want to find out the facts. They will not easily embrace defeat. They use dishonest debating tactics, which the average Christian debater doesn’t understand. Debates are not fought over facts nowadays but are all about winning the battle of ideas, and the leftists are well prepared to debate strategies. It is important that the Christian apologist master this method to effectively combat those leftists who, through public debates, are undermining the Christian faith.
Formulating Key Questions. Those who reject the Christian faith openly use this tactic to direct the amateur apologist and innocent Christians away from the facts. The progressive thinkers have successfully perfected the questioning methodology, and most Christians and apologists have not grasped the essence and significance of the questioning art. The misguided Christian’s incorrect tactics are the reasons why they lose the fight, and not because of any flaw in the Facts. This method will help the Christian interrogator deal effectively with those tactics.
The Correct Use of Apologetics
A person who aspires to become a Christian Apologist must clearly understand his position and use the resources of apologetics properly to defend his faith. An apologist may misuse or abuse his ability, and that may lead to an attitude of arrogance and defeat the purpose of trying to lead people to the truth. When using apologetics correctly, there are a couple of rules to remember.
Adopting the Right Attitude
The Bible contains guidance about how we can protect our religion.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (I Peter 3:15 NKJV)
Humility and fear of God should be paramount in the Apologist’s mind as he gives his defense. The Apologist must also bear in mind that the apologetics are:
Not for rivalry. Apologetics isn’t a game of rivalry. The Apologist does not attempt to show that he is better than everyone else in the area.
Not Setting Dominance. Having made a name for himself in the field and becoming very experienced, the Apologist must note that it is always a learning process. He shouldn’t believe like he knows everything, and still aspire to be modest.
Not only Win. As far as apologetics is concerned, the object of a debate is not to win or silence the opponent. The debate is about trying to define reality, and the Apologist’s goal should be this. If that goal is reached, he must then ensure that his adversary knows the facts and uses his new insight to spread it.
When the Apologist has managed to get his point across, he now wants to help his adversary embrace the gospel and reinforce his faith. Now he wants to answer the questions this new believer may have.
Not claiming that the Bible is Real or God’s Existence. No-one can prove true to the Bible. What the Apologist does is explain the Bible’s ‘uniqueness’ by using a mixture of scientific, statistical, historical, legal, and relational facts. Together these should reassure the inquirer that the Bible is the Word of God. If this is achieved, the presence of God becomes immediately apparent.
Christian Apologetics frequently helps to teach new believers and others who have fallen from the road of justice to the full path of righteousness. The popularity of Christian Apologetics is because it is used to address questions that may impede a full conversion to Christianity.
The great apology contained inside the word of the gospel itself
All the different ways of apology are fascinating in their way, and they also affirm for those who have faith. And often, they help atheists overcome their faith walls and accept Christ.
And the greatest repentance for faith is found in the word of the gospel itself. God does love us. Jesus died because of our sins. And he’s ready to join our lives and bring order out of the mess that we’re creating from life.
Every truthful, unpretentious person I’ve ever encountered longs to be loved without restriction. Human love is wonderful in so far as it goes, but if we are conscious that we have probably never perfectly loved another person, and unconditionally, then we have probably never been perfectly loved.
But in us lingers the desire for this kind of love. In itself, the word of the gospel is a true apology, for it comes as a response to the very essence of the deepest longing of the spirit. God loves us forever.
Moreover, I have never met a genuine, unpretentious person who fails to admit that he or she is being fucked up. We claim that we believe in love, but we also have harsh words for those we think we love the most in the world. We have our high expectations, and often, we find ourselves living under them. We have standards of conduct we expect from others, but we are also oblivious to those expectations of our own transgressions.
The repentance implied in the meaning of the gospel itself is made clear once again.This God who loves us without obligation will also forgive us all our wrongdoings and forgive us in Heaven.
Furthermore, because we have recognized our shortcomings and weaknesses, we have also recognized our need for assistance in bringing order out of the chaos that we have generated. Again, the apologetic in the gospel is loud and clear: when we ask him, God is ready to enter our lives as Lord and begin redemption.
When we participate in explaining the reality of the gospel to others, we must not allow the work of apologetics to distract us from the influence of apologetics inherent in the message itself. That is, “God was in Christ reconciling the world within himself.”
His compassion, grace, and desire to be the Lord of our lives are the greatest apologetics of all. And it speaks to the profound desires of every human heart.