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The word ‘apologetics’ stems from the Greek apologia, meaning “a defense” which is most famously exhibited in 1 Peter 3:15 which says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”
Many Christians do not know what the word apologetics means: either they think it means that we apologize for being Christian, OR they think apologetics is about arguing and “Destroying” your opponent – but what is Christian Apologetics REALLY About?
Simply put, apologetics is learning what you believe well and why you believe it. It’s about researching and finding evidence or reasoning for our beliefs, so we then can, as Paul says, “make a defence” for what we believe.
Okay, but why is apologetics important? It’s not only important to answer the doubts of unbelievers, it also helps to answer our own doubts about the faith. It builds our confidence in what we believe and helps us to navigate objections or questions that others or we ourselves may have. Apologetics is also a great way of finding places in which our beliefs or doctrines may be incorrect or aren’t fully in line with the truth.
However, Christian apologetics isn’t merely about learning information and arguments. Effective Christian apologetics is transformational to the way we think and behave. It builds our faith, increases our confidence in God, and influences our actions.
Apologetics is about discovery and seeking out truth. It is a tool in which we can use to help others understand our faith and why we believe in Christianity, while helping us navigate our own faith and relationship with God.
I’m Īhaka Nāmana from Thinking Matters, for more information on apologetics and more, visit https://www.thinkingmatters.org.nz Ngā mihi