Nearly every teenager in the world shapes their philosophy and defines their being by asking two age-old, monumental questions – “Do we really have to?” and “WHY!?!”
So, do we really have to do apologetics? If so, why? Well, I can think of a few reasons.
- Because God told us to. You just can’t argue with verses like 1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 3.
- Because God told us to. No, seriously, we shouldn’t need another reason! Nevertheless, I have a few more anyways.
- To grow in our Christian faith. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking we do apologetics to win arguments with atheists. However, the study we do in apologetics increases our faith as much as any thing we study as Christians. So often, we talk and act like our faith is a blind leap into nothingness, and that is the accusation that many anti-Christian beliefs bring against us. But, that’s not faith at all. The Bible defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The more we examine that substance and evidence, the more we will trust in the things hoped for and not seen!
- To expose errors inside Christianity. Enemies of Christianity attack from both the outside and inside. Apostasy, or doctrinal error, threatens the purity of Christianity from within. We must constantly be on the lookout for those who claim to hold to the Christian faith, but do and say things that are very un-Christian. This also helps us to be sure our doctrinal positions are correct.
- To expose errors outside Christianity. The enemies on the inside attack Christianity by trying to change it. The enemies on the outside attack Christianity by trying to, well, attack it. It is our job to prove how Christianity stacks up against such opponents. That’s not to say we are trying to prove that Christians are smarter than people from other religions, or that we are trying to win a “my religion is better than yours” contest. But, the unique character of the Christian faith is one of the strongest testimonies of the power of Christ and the gospel. Which brings me to my next point…
- To reach people with the Gospel. Winning arguments is not the point. Being smarter is not the point. Pointing people to Christ is the only thing that really matters. For a person to trust Christ as their Savior, they must understand that they need to be saved from their sin. For a person to undstand that, they must understand why their sin is so bad. For for a person to understand that, they need to understand how holy God is. For a person to understand that, they need to understand that God exists. It’s hard to repent to a God you don’t think exists. It’s hard to accept a Savior that you think was just a good teacher. Apologetics breaks down those intellectual barriers and exposes Christianity for what it truly is — life-changing faith in Jesus Christ.
- Because God told us to. Sorry, I just couldn’t end with only six reasons.