Contend Earnestly for The Faith

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Apologetic's; Why is it Needed?

 

APOLOGETIC'S: WHY IT IS NEEDED?

   Having discussed the definition, biblical basis, and history of

apologetics, the issue of why apologetics is needed must now be

examined. In this chapter, seven reasons why Christians need to

defend the faith will be given. Though more reasons could be listed,

these seven will suffice to demonstrate that Christian apologetics is a

necessary discipline in the church.

 

GOD CREATED MAN TO THINK

   Man was created by God to think. Man was created a rational

being.1 God wants man to use all that He has given him for His glory

(1 Corinthians 10:31). God has given each man a mind; God wants

him to use his mind.

   God calls out to the unsaved and invites them to reason with Him

that they might be saved (Isaiah 1:18). But God also commands the

believer to love Him with all his mind (Mark 12:30). Whether saved

or unsaved, God wants man to think and use his mind. For this

reason, believers are to reason with others concerning the gospel

(Colossians 4:5-6). God never meant for His gospel message to be

considered “anti-intellectual.” Therefore, the first reason why

apologetics is needed is that God created man to think; He wants

people to use the minds He gave them.

 

TO CONFIRM THE FAITH OF BELIEVERS

   A second reason why apologetics is needed is to strengthen or

confirm the faith of believers.2 It is necessary to answer the many

intellectual doubts that believers often have.

Our society enthusiastically promotes such ideologies as atheistic

evolution and moral relativism. Because of this, Christians are often

ridiculed. Born-again believers are often called old-fashioned or dull.

It is often said that Christians believe outdated myths or fairy tales.

This type of verbal persecution and peer pressure often lead believers

to doubt their faith. For this reason, apologetics is needed. It helps

answer the doubts a believer may develop in an anti-Christian

society.

 

TO PERSUADE NONBELIEVERS

   A third reason why apologetics is needed is that it can and has been

used to persuade nonbelievers to accept Christ.3 This is done by

removing intellectual stumbling blocks that often keep a person

from Christ.4

   Some believers disagree with this particular point. They are quick

to point out that arguments cannot lead people to Christ. For only the

Holy Spirit can lead a person to Christ. Several things must be

mentioned here. First, it is true that only the Holy Spirit regenerates

(John 3:3-6). Second, Jesus commands believers to share their faith

(Matthew 28:19-20). Third, the Bible commands believers to defend

the gospel (1 Peter 3:15). And, fourth, the people who make this

objection still share their faith. This shows that they believe that

though only the Holy Spirit regenerates, He has chosen to use

believers as His instruments. And they are correct at this point. But

their position is mistaken in that they fail to realize that the same God

who told Christians to share their faith also commanded them to

defend it. In other words, just as the Holy Spirit uses believers’

sharing of the gospel, He can also use believers’ defending of the

gospel. Very few Christians, if any, actually believe that the Holy

Spirit will lead people to Christ without using believers. Though He

has the power to do so, He has chosen to use Christians in both the

sharing and the defending of the faith.


    It should also be noted that many people were led to Christ

through apologetics. Josh McDowell, C. S. Lewis, Walter Martin, and

John Warwick Montgomery are just a few outstanding Christian

leaders who came to Christ through apologetics.

Those who don’t do apologetics must stop witnessing when

objections to the gospel are raised, for they do not believe in providing

evidence for the gospel. But Christians who do apologetics can

continue to witness. Defenders of the faith can attempt to answer

those objections. And, if Christians really love their fellow man, they

should be willing to answer his objections if possible.

 

TO REFUTE SYSTEMS OF FALSE BELIEF

   A fourth reason why apologetics is necessary is that heretical

movements must be refuted. If the truth is to be protected, then

errors must be exposed and countered. The apostle Paul made it clear

that pastors of local churches must be able to “refute those who

contradict” the truths of the Bible (Titus 1:9).

   If Christians refuse to do battle with belief systems that oppose

Christianity, then non-Christian cults and religions will proclaim

their false teachings without opposition. Many people who thirst for

God will be led astray. Though most Christians shy away from

confrontation, they must be willing to boldly combat the false

teachings that they encounter. As the Lord confronted the legalistic

and hypocritical Pharisees (Matthew 23), His followers must be

willing to refute those who promulgate error.

   If the Christian church does not oppose false religions and cults,

then the essential differences between truth and error will be blurred.

Therefore, apologetics is needed to refute non-Christian belief

systems.

 

TO IMPROVE THE MORAL HEALTH OF AMERICA

   Fifth, apologetics is needed to help improve the moral well-being

of America.5 The increase in crime, sexual promiscuity, and abortion

have plagued this nation. Apologetics can be used to reverse these

trends. This can be done in two ways. First, believers may lead others

to Christ through apologetics. This will effect the behavior of these

new converts. They will begin to live by biblical morality as opposed

to the morality which the world promotes (James 2:26). Second,

through the use of apologetics, Christians can defend biblical

morality even when dealing with nonbelievers.

America needs moral direction. The Christian can encourage a

return to traditional values through the use of apologetics. Christian

thinkers should engage in public debates and dialogues with non-

Christian thinkers concerning ethical issues. In this way defenders of

the faith can argue for the superiority of Christian morality.

 

TO SHOW THE WORLD CHRISTIANITY IS NOT IRRATIONAL

   A sixth reason why apologetics is needed is to declare to the world

that the Christian faith is not a contradictory system of thought. The

world must be shown that one does not have to throw away his or her

mind to become a Christian. Many intelligent and educated people

have been Christians in the past. Intelligent and educated people can

still be Christians today.

   Defenders of the faith need to engage in public debate with non-

Christian thinkers. Even if no one is persuaded through apologetics

(which is usually not the case), at least it will be shown that the

Christian faith can be intelligently defended in the world of ideas. The

Church must not allow others to call the gospel an outdated myth

without responding to this accusation. Therefore, apologetics is

needed to show the world that Christianity is not irrational.

 

TO STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT EVEN IF NO ONE IS

LISTENING

   Seventh, apologetics is needed to stand up for what is right even

if no one is listening. God demands that Christians stand up for His

truth even if it is rejected by all others. The apostle Paul preached the

same gospel regardless of whether his listeners applauded him or

stoned him (1 Corinthians 9:16; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33; Philippians

4:11-13; Galatians 1:10). The prophet Jeremiah’s message was

extremely unpopular to the people of Judah. Still, he proclaimed it

(Jeremiah 37:15-17). Just because others may harden their hearts to

the message, this does not relieve the Church from defending the

faith.

   In the midst of an immoral culture, someone must stand up for

what is right. In the midst of an idolatrous society, someone must

contend for the one true God. Anything less is to ignore the

responsibilities entrusted to the Church. Paul stated, “I am appointed

for the defense of the gospel” (Philippians 1:16) and “woe is me if I do

not preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16). All Christians must

proclaim and defend the gospel even if no one is listening.

CONCLUSION

   In conclusion, apologetics is needed for several reasons. First, God

created man to think. Therefore, the Church should be able to give

reasons for why she believes what she believes. Second, apologetics

helps to strengthen the faith of believers. Third, it is instrumental in

persuading nonbelievers to accept Christ. Fourth, it is necessary since

false belief systems must be refuted. Fifth, apologetics can help

improve the moral health of society. Sixth, apologetics is needed to

show the world that Christianity is not irrational. And, seventh,

apologetics is needed since God calls His followers to stand up for

what is right even if no one else is listening.

 

WHY APOLOGETIC'S IS NEEDED

1) Because God created man to think

2) To confirm the faith of believers

3) To persuade nonbelievers

4) To refute systems of false belief

5) To improve the moral health of America

6) To show the world Christianity is not irrational

7) To stand up for what is right even if no one else is listening

 

 All excerpts taken from: Contend Earnestly for the Faith

copyright 2008 by Phil Fernandes, Ph.D.

 

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