My introduction to Apologetics
Apologetics was a term introduced to me while discussing with my best friend her Christian college experience. I had never heard the term before and had to ask what it meant. Her response was simple, “an explanation of why we believe in Jesus.” My enthusiasm for apologetics diminished rapidly when, as a new believer, the discussions regarding Jesus turned south. Fighting a battle I was not prepared to fight, I ended up pushing people away from Christianity and in never-ending debates. The conversation would always transition from explaining my hope to an attempt at convincing others they should believe too. This response from me was in contradiction to the Christian lifestyle mentioned by Justin Barnard, “Christians ought to exhibit forms of life that embody eschatological hope in cultures of despair.”1 The last thing the unbeliever needed from me was an argument that proved in their minds Christians were no different than everybody else. Ronald B Myers reminds all apologists, “Our missio-logical endeavor, like any apologetical task, must always be to treat man with dignity and tact as the summit of God's creation.”2 I became very discouraged and found myself hiding my faith from most people to avoid conflict due to not knowing how to respond to their rebuttals. John C. Whitcomb, Jr. discusses having this same struggle as he longed to lead his college friends to the Lord. He learns not to have another argument, but instead, to share “a gospel-saturated testimony directed prayerfully [to the] heart.”3
My conceptions of apologetics were that apologetics was over my head and something the bible scholars and popular evangelists did. But now, having a more thorough understanding, I realized that I had been doing apologetics since I became a believer, although not well.
This is my first time studying apologetics. I am most looking forward to after sharing the gospel, or being asked about what makes me different, that I can understand how to respond more appropriately to their specific questions, concerns or refutes. Being in the early stages of a new women’s ministry geared toward unbelieving women, it is necessary for me to be able to share what and why I believe in the gospel of our Lord on an intellectual and spiritual level alike.
Barnard, Justin D., Petrine apologetics: Hope, imagination; and forms of life. Review &
Expositor, Vol. 111 no. 3 Aug 2014, p 274-280
Mayers, Ronald B, Both/and: the uncomfortable apologetic, Journal of the Evangelical
Theological Society, 23 no 3 Sep 1980, p 231-241
Whitcomb, John C., Contemporary apologetics and the Christian faith. Bibliotheca sacra, 134 no
534 Apr - Jun 1977, p 99-106