Having dealt with a number of objections to the use of apologetics, I now want to go on the offense and explain why we should practice apologetics. It seems clear to me that if we are going to base our lives on a set of teachings, we ought to know why we are doing so and be able to defend our reasons for doing so. To live a Christian life without knowing why we are doing so or being able to explain why to one who questions our basis for living as we do seems to me something of an existential absurdity. However, there are a number of other reasons to practice apologetics. In this post I want to look at three practical reasons we should practice apologetics
The first of these reasons is to strengthen the faith of believers. I have found that more and more of my friends are either themselves struggling or have friends or relatives who are struggling with their faith in face of the withering attacks upon it from every direction. A believer struggling with his faith has let slip the helmet of salvation and is loosening the belt of truth. Such a Christian cannot really be effective in the battle or be greatly used of God. Many times these Christians feel so unsteady because they do not have the answers that are there for them to have. Ken Ham’s book Already Gone well documents the damage to professing Christianity due to a lack of answers in face of these attacks. Although one could argue that our faith should not rest in having all the answers but in our trust in God and His word as Paul states in I Corinthians 2:5, we must establish the rationality of that faith or it will be susceptible to those attacks. To trust in God and His word even though we do not have any answers begs the question of why believe that God is and that the Bible is His infallible, authoritative word. We need to practice apologetics to help those struggling to find answers and strengthen our own faith to confidently live and proclaim the truths of Christianity.
Apologetics is also needed to take a proper biblical stand dealing with the great social issues that are facing society and challenging Christians today. Although there are other reasons to oppose abortion, euthanasia, homosexual activity etc., the basic reason they are wrong is because God, the Creator Who alone grants human rights declares them to be wrong in His word, the Bible. Those who oppose biblical morality usually do so by denying these premises. We not only need to declare that these practices are sin, but be able to defend the basis on which we state that they are sin. This, then, will involve the practice of apologetics and all the more as society continues to move away from any respect for the idea of God Who speaks through the Bible declaring right and wrong.
Finally, apologetics is more and more important in evangelism. I have touched on this in earlier blog posts. The gospel entails an understanding that there is a God Whose character is the standard of right and wrong, that He will call us into account for our violation of that standard which He calls sin, that we, then, justly deserve His curse and wrath for all eternity in the Lake of Fire, but that He loved us enough to send His Son, the second Person of the Trinity, to become man, live a perfect life and die in our place for our sins and bodily rose again from the dead obtaining victory and salvation for us. If an individual does not believe any of these things, he will not be saved. Each of these points are often challenged. That challenge must be met with answers given in the power of the Holy Spirit which is the practice of apologetics.
These arguments, as important as they are, are basically pragmatic. Certainly, God can and does so work in the heart of an individual applying the Bible and simply overwhelm the objections that challenge the tenets of the gospel. However, as I have pointed out several times in the past, He also uses means including the means of apologetics. A far more important argument for the practice of apologetics is the fact that the Bible both commands and exemplifies the practice of apologetics. These commands and practices are, Lord willing, what I will discuss in the next series of blog posts.