I have been involved in Christian apologetics pretty much since I returned to faith in my early 20s. It was a natural step as I came from being an atheist and was still looking for answers.
While I would not consider myself a “professional” apologist, I think I have learned something about Christian apologetics.
There are good reasons for being a Christian. I don’t mean I can “prove” the existence of God or the resurrection of Jesus. But there is evidence for the basic claims of Christianity and it is much more than a leap into the dark.
There are always temptations for apologists to attack other Christians, including those with orthodox beliefs. While I think there is plenty of room to have theological conversations, it can often be a bad witness in how Christians can show contempt for those with different interpretations. Apologists, perhaps because of the love for the argument, are especially prone to this.
Apologetics can be valuable as personal discipleship and devotion. While people may get involved in apologetics to help other people, it can also be quite helpful in the individuals personal walk with God.
There is a need for Christian apologetics to adapt to our changing world. It is easy for apologetics to get stuck on what we assume people are struggling with. The classic apologetics text, 1 Peter 3:15, tells us to be ready with an answer to those who ask. But what are people actually asking? We need to listen before we offer an answer that we assume people need.
Apologetics is not and should not be limited to a specific conservative evangelicalism. C.S. Lewis is perhaps the best known apologist and he was not an evangelical. I am not dismissing evangelical contributions to apologetics, as they have been at the forefront in this enterprise. However, every Christian should have their own apologetic for what they believe and why they believe it. I believe apologetics will only be enriched by the contributions of Christians of other traditions.
What about you? What have you learned about Christian apologetics?
The post 5 Things I Have learned About Christian Apologetics appeared first on Stephen J Bedard.
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