The word apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia, which means “a verbal defense”. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us that we should always be 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.”
Every Christian has been called to be ready to make a defense of their faith. That means you are called to give reasonable answers for your Christian beliefs.
Apologetics presents the validity and necessity of the Gospel and offers a counter-claim to modern-day secularism. Michael Cassidy calls this “jungle clearing” or removing the “obstacles or stumbling blocks to faith”. Christian apologetics addresses questions such as:
- Does God exist?
- How could a loving and all-powerful God allow evil to exist in the world?
- Can the Bible be trusted as a reliable and accurate historical document?
- What about other world religions? Why should one be right and not the others?
- What about the damage done across the world in the name of Christianity?
- Do miracles happen?
- Can Christianity and science be reconciled?
Apologetics (sometimes very useful in “pre-evangelism”) may address the intellectual obstacles that keep people from taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ seriously, but it does not necessarily call for a response to the Gospel. This falls primarily under the category of evangelism which is an attempt to persuade a person to come to a saving relationship in and through Jesus Christ.
Jesus is either all important or not important at all. As C. S. Lewis once said, “The only thing He cannot be is moderately important.” So, first of all, we must decide. Then we must help our world decide. What about the claims of Christ? True or false?