Those of you who are a part of the church I pastor, or part my pastor friend circle (or those who are very observant) know one thing about me: I love Apologetics (apologetics doesn’t have anything to do with apologizing, it has to do with giving a solid defense of something). In this case, I follow in a long line of apologists reaching back to the Apostle Paul and the Prophet Isaiah. As part of the Master’s program that I *ahem* have taken a sabbatical from, I was enrolled at Biola University so I could study under such philosophers as Clay Jones, William Lane Craig and others. That part of my life is on hold, but if God wills it, I’ll finish it. I also have to my credit being the only pastor I know to bring in a very well accredited group of scholars to put on the very first apologetics conference in our area (if you would like dvd’s of it, I can get them to you. They are WELL worth your time to watch and study).
Why do I love apologetics? I’m glad you asked. My mind has always worked in terms of logic. If it can be shown to be true, I’ll believe it. If it can be shown to be false, I’ll dismiss it. I was that was as a teen, and as an adult. In fact, so you know I am telling the truth, I did not place any amount of faith in Jesus the first time someone told me about him, or the tenth time. In fact, it was after weighing the evidence of the Gospel in my mind that I believed. Not to drag this out, here is a really oversimplified version of how I came to my conclusion:
A- If God does exist, then I do owe myself to Him
B- If I owe myself to Him, then I am in BIG trouble (yep, i admit I have failed in sin)
C- If God exists, He is perfect and MUST judge me (notice I said MUST, if He doesn’t, He cannot be God)
D- I have no personal defense, death is my just reward
That’s why the Gospel made sense. The irreducible beauty of the Gospel is that in the death of Jesus, God punishes all sin/satisfies His justice perfectly, and can simultaneously pardon sinners. There is nothing lacking in that scenario, nothing that can be torn down or shown false.
It was on that basis truly that I saw Jesus as my only hope in this life and in my death. I repented, turned to Him, was forgiven and now know peace.
I want to commend the study of Apologetics to you, Christians and non Christians. Apologetics covers important topics like “does God exist”, “Who is Jesus”, “How can God exist and evil exist”, “Did Jesus rise from the dead” (that is my personal favorite subject, I have shared that in schools and churches) among other audiences.
Now let me share a couple of reasons why YOU should love apologetics:
1- People in the Bible loved it! Remember God and Isaiah having this conversation:
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
Likewise Paul would make it his practice to debate in the synagogues Acts 19, and debate the pagans in the Areopagos Acts 17.
2- Lost people in our post modern culture need to hear it. You’ll find when you share the Gospel (you ARE sharing Gospel, aren’t you?) that people are starting with completely different positions verses their grandparents. For instance, 50 years ago, it was a given that God exists among most of the population, or that the Bible is the word of God. However, that is widely disagreed upon. You might share the Gospel with an unbeliever (like I have on NUMEROUS occasions) and have them stop you by saying“Yeah, but I really don’t think God exists”. Now, you can either walk away, or do something helpful and share with them how they can know He does. That IS your duty. Learn apologetics for the sake of this lost world.
3- FOR PERSONAL REASONS. I have heard this before and it is now true. Learn apologetics to help you have security in your faith. Especially the so called “problem of evil”. I can see how people get upset with so much evil in this world. Mass shootings, beheadings, crime, SICKNESS. How can all of this happen if God does exist?
I have studied at length this last part of apologetics. I thought I was doing it for others. I thought I was doing it so that I could share with lost people. But really, I studied it for myself, not knowing at that time that it would fully encourage me. Nothing has happened to me to shake my believe in
1- God’s existence, He’s still there
2-God’s love (want to know what God’s love looks like? Look at Calvary)
3- God’s plan- Romans 8 has a vivid new meaning, so does 2 Corinthians 4 and 1 Peter 4
Know WHAT you believe and WHY you believe it, while the sun is shining, so when the rain comes it won't wash away
I commend apologetics to YOU. A good layman’s guide to start with is Dr William Lane Craig’s “On Guard”. I’ve taught it several times at my church.
Got questions? Inbox me on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org