14 Sep 7 REASONS EVERY CHRISTIAN NEEDS TO LEARN APOLOGETICS IMMEDIATELY
1. THE BIBLE SAYS SO
1 PETER 3:15 tells us, “In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer (the original Greek word translated as answer is the world apologia which is where we get the term apologetics from) to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
But this passage is not alone. Repeatedly the Bible points out that Christians are “appointed for the defense (apologia) of the gospel.” However, contrary to the Bible’s teachings, this field has been left to a few academic Christians. What is the result?
For every one person being evangelized into the Church, three are leaving. Unlike past generations that we polytheistic or indifferent and had never heard the Gospel, this generation has heard the Gospel and been trained from youth to reject it. They have been inoculated against Christ – given just enough of the Gospel to refute it, but not enough to be overcome by the presence of God. Apologetics trains you how to respond to a resistant generation. It addresses many reasonable questions that people have, while giving you the tools to recognize manipulations and unrelenting skepticism.
Apologetics is also a great foundation for true discipleship. Currently somewhere between 70-90% of youth are leaving the Church. Apologetics prepares believers to withstand the lies of secularism, paganism, and more. It equips believers with a total worldview, empowering them to see the Gospel in a broader context for their life.
4. YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND NEIGHBORS
The sad fact is that this mass exodus from the Church and God is not quarantined to any specific region or demographic. The reality is that people close to each one of us are falling away from Christ. Learning apologetics will help you to respond lovingly and powerfully to those who are questioning.
5. CHURCH PUBLIC RELATIONS
But people aren’t just leaving the Church. They are leaving the Church angry and bitter. Studies show that public opinion of the Church has dropped nearly 20% in the last 5 years alone. Think about that! You’re talking about tens of millions of Americans that five years ago had generally positive feelings about the Church, but now strongly dislike it. Apologetics will help to respond rightly to the sometimes reasonable and sometimes unreasonable malcontent with the Church.
6. INTERNAL THEOLOGICAL CONFLICTS
Another area of great weakness for the Church is internal conflict -particularly over theological issues. While much of this is undoubtedly a natural consequence of people leaving the Church with hostility at unprecedented rates, thus placing extra pressure on the Body, our own confusions play a similarly significant role. We are bombarded with countless amounts of data -estimates suggest around 34 gigabytes daily. Apologetics does more than teach you what to believe; it teaches you how to arrive at those conclusions. Learning how to filter the endless voices protects believers from being blown about by the winds of bad theology and philosophy.
7. YOUR OWN FAITH
I’ve quoted it before and I’ll do it again, “People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe what they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic (Douglas Groothuis).” We all feel impervious to disbelief… until we’re not. I know in my personal life, apologetics has been integral to my belief. I have heard the same from others who have studied the practice. Studying apologetics will help strengthen your trust in God. You don’t have to remain in ignorance to remain in faith.