I was raised in a Christian Reformed Church. During my middle school years I was expected to read parts of the Heidelberg Catechism and write them out by heart. (A catechism is a series of questions and answers concerning the Christian faith.) There are other catechism’s out there and the Westminster Catechism is another important one. It’s first question is this, “What is the chief end [purpose] of man[kind]?” This is an important question. Does mankind have any purpose at all? If so, does that purpose come from within each individual or is it given to them by something outside of them? The Westminster answers this question with this. “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
The glory of God and our enjoyment of Him is the reason we exist.
The glory of God and our enjoyment of Him is the reason we exist. All our activities should orient themselves to this purpose. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, do it all to the glory of God.” And if apologetics is as important as I am claiming then it stands to reason that it glorifies God. So how does apologetics glorify God?
First, something needs to be said about our earlier points that make apologetics important. Earlier we said that being clear and confident about our faith is one reason you should practice apologetics. This seems rather intuitive. People naturally want to know what they are talking about and why they think the way they do. Also, apologetics is commanded in the Bible. It should go without saying that obedience to Scripture is also important. God gave us His word so that we would know him. John 20:31, “these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” An important command of Scripture is to “always be ready with a defense” 1 Peter 3:15. Finally, people are reasoning creatures and God appeals to that to save them. And while an argument cannot save anyone, God is pleased to use a variety of means to make himself known to people. History as bore out example after example of people overcoming their unbelief though apologetics.
All these glorify God.
There is one more reason that I think God is glorified by our use of apologetics. We serve a God of reason. Indeed, we serve a God who’s essential character is reasonable. Reason is what it is because of who God is. So by imitating his character, even imperfectly, we glorify God by always having a defense (an answer) for our hope in Jesus.
Imitating God, even imperfectly, glorifies God.
Then God sends us out to be a witness to himself. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:18-20.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Apologist