Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Apologetics: Why Your Church Needs It

(Rzim.org) by J.M. Njoroge

The ambiguity of the word apologetics provides the apologist with a natural icebreaker in public or private conversations on the topic: the apologist does not exist to “apologize” for being a Christian, or indeed for anything else. The assumption behind the pun is that the listeners would have a fair understanding of what apologetics is even if they cannot attach a formal definition to the concept. Unfortunately, this assumption is not always accurate.

During a conversation at a major apologetics event recently held in a large church, an attendee asked me what “apologetics” meant. I explained to her that apologetics is the branch of Christian theology that seeks to address the intellectual obstacles that keep people from taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ seriously. I gave her some examples of questions that are important in the context of apologetics. For example, why does evil exist if the world was created by an all-good, all-powerful God? How do we know Christianity is true in light of the numerous religions that exist in the world? 

I finished my answer to her by quoting 1 Peter 3:15, which instructs us to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks for the reason for the hope that is within us. Her reaction was surprising. 


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