“A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.” -John Calvin
In the last several months I have had the opportunity to sit down privately with a few people I have a lot of respect for and talk about the future and how Apologetics plays into it for me. In both cases I needed to begin by talking about what Apologetics is and where I see my place in it. Without getting too far into the weeds right now, Apologetics is offering reasoned arguments for your beliefs, more on that later. The way I ended up describing myself in the landscape of Apologetics is similar to being a firearms instructor. Any instructor I’ve ever met is a serious lover of guns and shooting. The enthusiasm level for their craft is pretty high, and so is the level of practical knowledge. Rarely does anyone walk away from one of those basic classes and decide to become a world class shooter, though. And no one walks out of one of those classes and IS a world class shooter. You hopefully walk out with a basic knowledge of safety, operation, and appropriate scenarios to use the weapon in.
Since I started this site I have almost exclusively focused on illustrating appropriate scenarios for the use of Apologetics but I have not focused on the basics of what it is, why it matters, and where you fit into the landscape. Over the next several weeks that is exactly what I intend to do. We’re not going to get bogged down in talking about the definition of the word “apologetics”, although we will discuss it. We will talk about what the Bible says about being ready to defend what you believe, what place reason has in the life of a believer, what a proper definition of the word “faith” looks like, what place Apologetics should have in the life of your church and how Pastors should approach the field of Apologetics. This is going to be ground level talk about a subject you may know little about, but one that impacts every aspect of your faith. My belief is that, as we become more and more of a post-Christian society, it is essential for every believer to know the basics of how to defend their faith.
God’s truth will never fail. Truth, by definition, can not fail. If we do not defend truth by explaining why it is true in a winsome and engaging way, however, truth can become culturally irrelevant. This is what the post-Christian culture and the New Atheists are bringing about. They would have us believe that the only appropriate places for us to look to God and worship Him is in our homes and in our churches. We are to keep the God of the universe out of polite company. Religion is not to be discussed publicly. When horrific tragedies happen in Paris, around the world, and here at home, we’re told that Religion is the root cause of these things and faith needs to be eliminated. The only thing louder than the ignorance of some Christians is the silence of others in the face of all of this. We have to do more than add a filter to our Facebook profile pictures and pray for our fellow man. We have to work to address the questions that tragedies raise in the minds of believers and non-believers alike. We have to be prepared to offer up and defend the truth that God is involved in the lives of the victims and their families and that there is good reason to believe that He cares and that He is doing good through it all.
The good news is that truth is on our side and we have a helper in the person of the Holy Spirit to guide us if we will only pursue Him. No matter what you may have been told, learning to defend what you believe naturally and without anger and bitterness is easier than you think. The willingness to do it is more than half the effort. We will get there together. Just like with a firearms class we will familiarize ourselves with the parts of our weapon first, next we’ll learn to load it and make it safe, then we’ll learn how to aim, how to fire, how to recognize when you’ve hit the target, and finally what the consequences are for missing or hitting the wrong target. The fruit of a series like this for the life of a believer and for The Church can not be overstated. It will be an essential part of a new Great Awakening in this country and around the world. Please share this with all of your family and friends. Let’s light a fire of knowledge, wisdom, thought, and reason in our communities and fan the flames until they can not be put out.