Apologetics (defending the Faith)
Why I'm making this page about "Apologetics (defending the faith)"
I recently realized how necessary Apologetics is. I was recently struck with the thought that some of the people we are trying to reach, after an initial attempt, may bombard us with questions which we are not able to answer. I had approached evangelism from the assumption that everyone at least believes in God, but that may not be the case. Aside from those who believe that there are many roads to God, or that Jesus was just another religious leader or those Jews who have yet to accept Jesus as the Messiah, unbelievers fall into many other categories, including skeptics, agnostics and out and out atheists. Peter tells us in I Peter 3:15 to "be ready to give an answer (or a defense) to everyone who asks concerning the hope which you have." (See the Revised Standard translation in the quote below.) Yet, many of us, myself included, often feel inadequate to do this. Thus the need for Apologetics.
Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you,— Peter (I Peter 3:15 [RSV])
What is Apologetics?
As R.C. Scroll explained in this video, Apologetics does not mean apologizing for our faith. It means just the opposite, giving a reply (or a defense).
Specific areas covered under the broad area Apologetics
I. Arguments for the existence .of God
a Arguments from Cosmology.
1.The very vastness of the universe demands a first cause (a creator).
2.If the big bang theory, so widely accepted, is correct, how could such a complex universe come from an infinitesimally small singularity? And where did that singularity come from?
3. The cosmos is suitable for life.
b. Arguments from Biology
1.integrative complexity--(The human body is organized at different levels, starting with the cell.. Cells are organized into tissues, and tissues form organs.. Organs are organized into organ systems such as the skeletal and muscular systems.)
2.irreducible complexity--(To imagine that a chance set of mutations would produce all 200 proteins required for cilia function in a single generation stretches the imagination beyond the breaking point.)
3.specified complexity--(the fact that specified complex patterns can be found in living things indicates some kind of guidance in their formation, which is indicative of intelligence.)
I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.— David (Psalm 139;14 [Holman])
c. .Arguments from Psychology (I think, therefore, I am & If no God, why me?)
d. Arguments from Sociology (If no God, why are relationships important?)
e. Arguments from Philosophy (If no God, why do I think about thinking?)
---For more on arguments from Philosophy, check out this hub by fellow hubber Salma Hassaballa,
- Flawed Logic
an article that logically argues some contemporary atheists' claims
II, Arguments for the reliability of the Bible
1. The Bible claims to be divinely authored (II Tim.3:16; II Peter 1:21)
2.The Bible's unique qualities
a. Manuscript evidence
b .Historical accuracy
c. Fulfilled prophecy
d, Central role of Jesus Christ and his acceptance of the Old Testament scriptures
e. Internal consistency (no real contradictions)
f.The trustworthiness of the Old Testament
g. The uniqueness of Israel's religion
h. The trustworthiness of the New Testament
i. The continuity of the two testaments.
.j. The trustworthiness of Biblical chronology
3. The believability of miracles
. a. Evidence for the resurrection of Christ.
. b Evidence for life after death.
4. Interpreting the Bible in Light of Science
5.Archeological discoveries and the Bible
Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.— David (Psalm 119:89 [NIV])
II..Christian Faith and Non-Christian Belief Systems
a.The uniqueness of the claims of Christ *
b, Christian Faith and Philosophy (eg. the problem of suffering)
c. Christianity and culture**
IV. The evidence of changed lives.
The Apologetics Study Bible
The above areas and more are covered in this great resource listed below full of helpful articles and notes.
I happen to own a copy of "The Apologetics Study Bible" and can honestly say that it is an invaluable resource which can easily help the average Christian better understand, defend and proclaim our beliefs in this age of increasing moral and spiritual relativism. It has more than one-hundred key questions and articles placed throughout the volume about faith and science which prompt a rewarding study experience at every reading.
Otherwise referred to as thinking person's edition of God's Word, it includes the full text of the popular Holman translation, an introduction to each Bible book focusing on its inherent elements of apologetics, and profiles of historic Christian apologists from Justin Martyr to C.S. Lewis.
* More on the claims of Jesus:
1. The unusual nature of Jesus' words and works and the connection between the two (He practiced what He preached.)
2. The uniqueness of His death (Even one of the soldiers said he must be the son of God.)
3. The uniqueness of His resurrection (Check out my hub on the power of the resurrection)
a. the empty tomb
b. Post resurrection appearances
4. His incredible influence on His followers
a.Rapid growth of the Christian Church
b.Amazing boldness of Christians in the face of suffering
Applied Apologetics=the average Christian: - Using apologetics in everyday situations:
Awhile ago, our church held a class in which we practiced giving simple, understandable answers are given to critical questions that a Christian may confront, such as, Does God Exist? Is Jesus the Christ? Is the Bible True? Did the resurrection of Jesus really happen? Is there a God? If so, Is He knowable...can one really have contact and communication with Him? In the class, we were also encouraged to talk with others about God. Using the resource above and others you can find online and elsewhere, you should be able to do as Petr suggests in the verse in the first quote above.
**Apologetics and culture
Our culture used to reflect our Christian values at least to some extent, but it has become more and more de-Christianized, moving our world more and more out of the reach of our message, Thus, we need to try harder and do all we can to confront our modern culture with the truth of God's word. I tried to do so on my hub about the movie, "What Dreams May Come."
Find More Resources on Apologetics Here:
- AMAZING BIBLE
Find more on apologetics and other related Bible topics at this amazing site.
This site listed in:
Sermons Outlines, Free Pentecostal Bible Studies, Topical Sermons, Podcasts - Sowing Seeds of faith by Ken Birks.