What is Apologetics?
Origin of Apologetics
The word “apologetics” is derived from the Greek word “apologia”. In ancient Athens, it referred to a defence made in the courtroom as part of the judicial procedure. After an accusation, the defendant was allowed to refute the charges with a defence or reply (apologia) and the accused would attempt to “speak away” (apo—away, logia—speech) the accusation. The word appears 17 times in either noun or verb form (apologia and apologeomai respectively) in the New Testament, and they can be translated as “defence” or “vindication” in each case.
Definition of Apologetics
Christian Apologetics is the area of study devoted to the defence of the Christian worldview. It involves presenting rational reasons for the belief in the existence, pre-eminence and omniscience of God, as well as in the validity of the Word of God. It not only seeks to defend, but also aims to give answers to the people who may have questions pertaining to God and Christianity.
Why is it important?
In 1 Peter 3:15, The Bible instructs us saying “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”.
As Christians, we ought to be able to give others a coherent reason for our belief and hope in Christ. There are many theories existing which aim to refute the validity of the Christian faith; Some even attempt to debunk the belief in the existence of a God totally. Hence, in this age of science and reason, we must not take the responsibility to defend our faith lightly. The study of apologetics better equips us in the justification of our faith to skeptics in prayerful hope that it brings them to a knowledge of the truth. Apologetics challenges us to answer some of the “tough” questions of life such as:
1. Does God exist?
2. How can a good God allow evil?
3. How can a good God send people to hell?
4. Who created God?
5. Why is Christianity the one true religion?
6. Is Jesus really God?
7. How can we know that the Bible we have today is a reliable record of the original writings?
8. Why does the Bible seem to contradict itself?
9. Is Christianity a less intelligent worldview than atheism?
10. What are the major reasons Intelligent Design proponents reject evolution as a sufficient explanation for the existence of life?
When we can validate our claims logically and rationaly according to the truth of God, we show the world that we do not hope blindly as some may think but we believe in the one, true and living God who passes every test and query of truth.
Nkese Charles (IVCF Member )
Brought to you by (R.A.D.D) IVCF Research Apologetics And Development Team