I almost feel like I should make several posts about apologetics. My previous series on “What is Apologetics” teases out of several aspects of just one passage, 1 Peter 3:15. This blog is going to be a summary of several other passages that are central to a Biblical case for apologetics.
JESUS USED APOLOGETICS
Jesus exemplified apologetics is so many ways. I am always reminded the way he handled the Chief Priests and elders in Matthew 21:23-27. To summarize, the Chief Priests and elders wanted to know why Jesus thought he had had the authority to drive people out of the Temple. Jesus said he’d answer their question but first answer one of his. He asked about John the Baptist’s baptism. Was it from God or mere man. The Chief Priests and elders get together into to discuss. If they say it was from God, Jesus will ask why not believe John when he said Jesus is the Messiah? If they say it was from mere man, they were afraid of the mass of people because everyone loved John as a prophet.
Asking this question exposed a philosophy called Relativism. The Chief Priests were not interested in the truth but only what worked to their advantage against Jesus. Once Jesus asked them this simple question, they came back saying that they did not know. This is an example of Jesus practicing apologetics.
PAUL USED APOLOGETICS
Paul also exemplified apologetics by interacting with people with whom he knew there would be disagreement. Paul made it his custom, a regular practice, to to into the synagogue and market place to have theological discussions (Acts 17:2). He repeatedly got into trouble for speaking his mind and proving himself correct.
Paul also told us to wage war in the arena of the mind (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). We should be destroying arguments while being mindful of the person. And if the structure of his writings are an indication he certainly does that! His letters show a structure of building an argument. He anticipates counter arguments. He is gentile with his words, but aggressive where appropriate.
JUDE USED APOLOGETICS
Jude prioritized contending for the faith (apologetics) over celebrating the gospel that he and his listener’s shared (Jude 3). For some this may seem unsettling. Many in the Christian Church have been brought up to think that the gospel is the most important message we have, and it is. I do not believe Jude did this because apologetics is somehow more important that the gospel, rather apologetics serves the gospel in such a way that it opens the ears of listeners so that the gospel could be heard.
PETER USED APOLOGETICS
Finally, Peter explicitly told us to have a defense (an apologetic) for our faith (1 Peter 3:15). If we want to obey Scripture, we must do this. It is my prayer that you seek out good teachers in Apologetics so that you can be trained. Vincennes Apologetics is committed to doing just that. If you have further interest, drop me a line.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Apologist
Question: Can you find other passages that support the use of apologetics?