I’ve been reading about the difference between the urgent and the important from Matt Perman’s book “Unstuck.” According to Perman, “important things are in line with our goals, life vision, and correct principles.” And “urgent things demand our immediate action.” Both things press for our time and attention. In the next several blogs I will be discussing how I think apologetics is both important and urgent.
It doesn’t matter if you are a Ph.D scholar or a lay Christian, everyone needs to learn how to defend their faith. I will discuss the urgency of apologetics later but for now I have four reasons to think that apologetics is important.
Being Confident and Clear
First, you want to be confident and clear about what you believe. Apologetics forces you to go deep into your faith. Interacting with ideas that conflict with Christianity motivates you to seek out answers to difficult questions. And looking for answers to those difficult questions is one way to help bring clarity and confidence about what you believe. This was my experience in college. I will never forget the “Easter Challenge” an atheist gave me. I spent hours pouring over the Scriptures attempting to answer the challenge. It was faith building and rewarding to have actually answered it.
Second, you want to obey Scripture. The more I study apologetics, the more I see it being used in Scripture. The writers of Scripture practiced apologetics by carefully scripting arguments to make their point. Jesus exemplified apologetics by challenging people’s faulty thinking on a variety of issues and explaining what is actually true. Peter, Paul, and Jude all directly command that we practice apologetics.
See others come to faith in Jesus
Third, you want to see others come to faith in Jesus Christ. I know that apologetics does not “save” anyone, this is accomplished only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, but apologetics acts as a pre-evangelism. False world views are not built in a day and very often are not abandoned in a day. Knowing and practicing apologetics puts you in a powerful position to affect the lives of others for the cause of Christ!
For the Glory of God
Finally, you want to glorify God. Each of the previous three things glorify God. I love John Piper’s quote, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” One way that I see being satisfied in God is being clear and confident in our beliefs about Him. Also, doing what He commands glorifies God. Scripture commands that we reason though our beliefs (Paul, Peter, and Jude) and defend them. And lastly, God commands that we go and make disciples and apologetics can act as a pre-evangelism to this purpose.
As a unique point for the glory of God, we are created in His image. God Himself said “Come now, let us reason together says the Lord” Isaiah 3:1. We are imitating His character by seeking to rationally defend the faith.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Apologist,
Question: Do you think apologetics is important? Why or why not?