Understanding Christian Apologetics

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord has holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

1 Pet. 3:15 (ESV)

Apologia in Greek means a response: it is speech (logos) triggered by something else. Every Christian stands in the position of having to provide such a response: for it is not only what we say when questioned by someone outside the faith about why we live as we do, and hope as we do; it is also the way we explain to ourselves, in our moments of doubt, temptation, and failure, why we believe these things, and where we get our assurance from. The first conversation partner in apologetics is always the self.

This collation will look at the Christian apologetic task. Key will be the claim that apologetics is not primarily about having clever philosophical arguments or proofs for the existence of God, and that it is not at its best when it aims to provide these. This is because, however attractive these may be to the believer, they do not actually address the issue the non-believer is having. Instead, we will aim to be attentive to the heart of the seeker, and to respond with the type of witness that is well suited to the condition of that longing heart.

The result is an account of apologetics that is freeing, because it doesn’t require lengthy studies or specialized degrees to be effective. Rather, I argue, every believer already has in them all that they need to be a compelling and faithful witness to the hope we have in Christ.

Last held Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 7:30 pm Central time

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