Apologia, otherwise known as apologetics, does not mean proffering an apology for the faith we hold. It does, however, mean ” the science of giving a defense of the faith. “ So, Why Apologetics? Why does the faith need to be defended? Does the Infinite Creator of the Universe need finite creatures employing fallen reasoning in an effort to support what He has revealed? He does not need it but He has, according to Divine Providence and the good Pleasure of His will left the sharing and defending of the faith to those He has saved.
Why Apologetics are Biblical
Are there examples of apologetics being employed in the Scriptures? Can we point to the Inspired Word of God and use it as a basis for what we do in defending the faith? Of course we can, as the Bible is replete with people defending God and their faith in Him to those who would try and tear down the foundations upon which their lives were built.
John, the Beloved Disciple, wrote in his Gospel:
22 Then Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that you are extremely religious in every respect. 23For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.
Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it—He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands. 30 “Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”
Why Apologetics Today?
Why should apologetics be used today? Because we are building upon the foundations that others have lain:
8 Now the one planting and the one watering are one in purpose, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s coworkers.[a] You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it.
The faith the we have received from those who have gone before demonstrates why apologetics are important. Every generation faces something new and sometimes recycled heresies that endanger the faith. From Nestorianism to the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel that is prominent in the Church today, we must be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within us. Scripture is ever true and relevant as can be seen from what Peter said:
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as 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, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
Whenever we defend our faith we should do so with gentleness and respect. Knowledge of the Truth is not to be wielded like a hammer beating upon either believers or non-believers. We who defend the faith, we who follow the King of Kings, we who show why apologetics are so important in the Church today must do so in a manner that glorifies God and brings Honor to Christ. Winning an argument while losing opportunities to witness among friends, strangers, and even enemies is not sharing the Good News as God has commanded.
–Luther Wesley ( http://www.livingngrace.com )