Apologetics 101 part 2 – Apologetics
1. Establishing Biblical Presuppositions
- Romans 1:20 – For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
- Acts 17:23-25
- Acts 14:17
What is Apologetics?
2. Giving Answers for the hope we have.
- 1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts set apart 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
- The word answer comes from the Greek word apologia, from which we get our word apologetics, meaning a defense or vindication of what we believe. In other words, apologetics is not an apology for the faith, but a defense of the faith, and it presupposes that the faith we have given our life over to is defendable.
- “I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.” Alexander Hamilton
- “It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs, but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.” Aristotle
3. Defending the gospel (upholding truth propositions)
- In Philippians 1:7 Paul speaks of his task as “defending and confirming the gospel.” He adds in, “I am put here for the defense of the gospel.” This implies that the defender of the gospel is out where her or she can encounter others and help preserve the truth.
4. Demolishing Arguments (refuting falsehoods)
- If Jesus is really Lord, then we should be obedient to him as it is stated in II Cor. 10:5 “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
5. Neutralizing Incredulity
- Acts 26: 19-27 – “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. 21That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22But I have had God’s help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” 25″I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”
6. Persuading the skeptic
- 2 Corinthians 5:11
- Acts 9:22 – Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.
- Acts 17:3 – explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, ” he said.
- Acts 18:28 – For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
7. Strengthen the believer
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 – And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
- Luke 7:23 – Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.“
- John 20:27 – Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
8. Refuting false doctrines
- Titus 1:9 Makes knowledge of Christian evidences a necessity for church leadership. An elder in the church should “hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
- Jude 3, “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” The community of believers that Jude addressed had been battered by counterfeit teachers, and he wanted to persuade them to guard the faith as it had been revealed through Christ. Jude makes a note concerning our attitude in verse 22, that we “have mercy on some, who are doubting.”