In a world in which every atheistic idea is explored and most are lauded, those who still defend the Christian faith are often ignored. There are many highly-educated and well-published defenders of the faith out there from virtually every area of academia, so I have no great expectations for myself; and yet I will add my voice to the giants in hope to help some soul and to find a vent for my passion. It is my desire to glorify the God who really does exist and Whom I personally know and love, the God Who reveals Himself.
The practice of defending the faith is called apologetics. In this first blog, I want to explain what apologetics is. There can be no intelligent exchange of ideas unless the terms used in the exchange of ideas can be understood by those so engaged. The name of my blog is Revelational Apologetics, and that name requires some explanation. In this post I will discuss the word apologetic, in the next, I will explain why I also use the word revelational.
The word apologetics comes from a Greek word that means literally “to speak away from”(Robertson, III, p.385) but came to mean “to defend against an accusation”(Vine, p.198); and is used in the New Testament eight times (Luke 12:11; Acts 22:1; 25:16; I Corinthians 9:3; II Corinthians 7:11; Philippians 1:7, 17; II Timothy 4:16; and I Peter 3:15) for “a formal defense before a potentially hostile audience”(Custer, Acts, p.316). Paul used it of his own defense before Jewish opponents and in Roman courts. Most significantly, Peter exhorts all Christians to have ready a formal defense in a world hostile to Christianity (I Peter 3:15). Therefore, every Christian should be able to tell why they are Christians, why they believe and behave as they do and be able to give a formal defense of their faith and practice. In a world growing ever more hostile, Christians need to be prepared to defend what they believe and what they practice and even who they are. Furthermore, the failure to develop such a formal defense has led to many professing Christians questioning their faith under the barrage of attacks from many different directions upon that faith and others to be timid in their witness out of fear that they could not deal with the objections to the faith they may face. Not only so, but more and more unsaved individuals do find their excuse to reject God’s salvation in these many attacks which receive so much publicity and support in the media and education. If there is no God who writes the rules and will judge us, if there is no real objective right or wrong, then there is no need for salvation. If we are to reach these lost souls with the gospel, we need to deal with these and other obstacles to their coming to the faith. To deal with these obstacles, we need to be able to know and practice apologetics. I pray that, by God’s grace and help, this blog will add something to the ability of Christians to be able to defend their faith and help others come to that faith to the glory of God.
Apologetics are also needed to deal with the cultural wars that threaten the freedom of Christians to practice their faith Often Christians seek to battle for the biblical view concerning these issues without dealing with the world-views that are foundational to those issues. We hold to what is often called “traditional values” not because they are traditional, but because they are biblical. For instance, we hold to “traditional marriage” because God created marriage and defined it in the Bible. However, those against whom we battle often do not believe there is a God and do not believe the Bible can be taken literally as His revelation. Therefore we must have a defense of the existence of God and His revelation in a Bible that can and should be taken literally. Hence, we need to practice apologetics.
In the future, Lord willing, I will explore the need to practice apologetics for there are still many who would argue that apologetics is not necessary. I will then give more detail concerning my concept of revelational apologetics, and then state my formal defense and go on to deal with various topics that pertain to the defense of the faith.