Most of us are aware of the need to reach a dying world with God’s message. When Jesus sent out the twelve, he urged them, “Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So, don’t hesitate to go public now” (Matt. 10:27 MSG). The RSV says, “proclaim upon the housetops.”
Later, in a world steeped in mystery cults, Peter urged his listeners to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (I Pet. 3:15 NIV). It was in this spirit that Paul vigorously defended the gospel (Acts 14:8-18; 17:2-3; 18:4, 19; Phil. 1:7, 16), charging others to do the same (2 Tim. 2:23-26).
The need for apologetics today is crucial. Believers should realize that we are living in a post-Christian era with a host of worldviews, all competing for people’s commitments and even for their very lives. Surely you have noticed the passion of many of these, from the rabid environmentalists who believe the world is our mother, to the materialist who claims that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena. And then there are the “I want it my way” Christians who think worship is a liturgy of entertainment, for them to enjoy.
Apologetics does not supplant faith; it supplements it. The same verses commanding us to preach the gospel also instruct us to constantly be prepared to correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and careful instruction (2 Tim. 4:2). I don’t know of a single Christian who hasn’t witnessed the world searching for meaning in all the wrong places. Christian apologetics is simply presenting a reasonable defense of the Christian faith and truth to those who disagree. Christian apologetics is a necessary aspect of the Christian life. We are all commanded to be ready and equipped to proclaim the gospel and defend our faith. That is the essence of Christian apologetics.
Can you give a reason?