Do you really believe all that bible stuff? How is Christianity different from other religions? How do you know it’s all true?
Do those questions strike more than a little fear in your heart? If you’re like a lot of Christians, they do. However, we don’t have to be afraid of those questions when we’re prepared to give an answer. That’s why apologetics is so important. We’ll take a short look at what apologetics is and its benefits.
WHAT IS APOLOGETICS?
You may see the word “apologetics” and think it’s referring to an apology. Well, it’s not. Instead, it’s a defense of something you believe to be true. Christian apologetics, more specifically, covers historical evidence of Scripture, the deity of Jesus, His miraculous resurrection, and more. In fact, apologetics is even mandated by the Bible itself. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, as always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet you do it with gentleness and respect.”
So what are some benefits of apologetics? Let’s explore three reasons to study it.
STRENGTHENING YOUR OWN FAITH
You don’t have to be a believer long before you have some questions of your own. Maybe you’re still struggling with some doubt right now. The gospel message is beautiful and amazing and miraculous. But maybe there’s a thought in the back of your mind wondering, “is this really all true?” Studying apologetics banishes that thought. When you arm yourself with the knowledge of why Christianity is all true, you’re filled with confidence in your faith. Plus, you keep a calming peace in a world of ever-changing ideas.
Alisa Childers, formerly of band ZOEgirl, recounts her own struggle with her faith. She writes, “As a lifelong church-goer, follower of Jesus, and former CCM recording artist, I experienced a period of profound doubt about my faith in my mid-thirties. I felt as though I had been tossed in a stormy ocean of uncertainty with no life jacket or lifeboat in sight. I didn’t know where to find answers to my questions, or if answers existed at all. Did I have to accept it all on some kind of blind faith?”
She didn’t. Christianity isn’t a blind faith. It’s deeply rooted in history, in truth, and tons of evidence to support it. After studying apologetics, Childers is now a champion of it. She shares what she’s learned through her articles and podcasts at alisachilders.com.
SHARING THE GOSPEL
Just like Childers, we’re supposed to share what we know about Jesus with the rest of the world, too. Before Jesus left this earth in Matthew 28, he laid out some important instructions known as the Great Commission. Verses 19 and 20 say, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Gospel sharing should be something we’re doing regularly. However, knowing the historical support for the truth of the gospel can make our witnessing more effective.
Think about this for a moment. If a nonbeliever posed skeptical questions to you, would they be enticed by your confused facial expressions? Or would they be more intrigued by confident, logical responses? When you share your faith with a lost world, you’ll undoubtedly receive questions. But you don’t have to be caught off guard with questions like, “how do you know it’s true?” If you’ve studied apologetics, you’ll be ready and confident in your response, giving your audience a better invitation to follow Jesus.
PREPARING YOUR KIDS
It’s no secret that children are highly impressionable. Surely you already know to carefully guard what they watch online and what they listen to on the radio. Lies from the enemy have saturated not only mainstream media, but our entire society. Your child won’t be more than a few years old before they encounter belief systems that seek that dismantle any beginning of faith in God. Giving your child a firm foundation in apologetics and the truth of God’s word will help create a form of spiritual protection.
Focus on the Family agrees that teaching apologetics to your kids is absolutely beneficial. “Equipping kids with an understanding of apologetics is an important part of [spiritual protection]. It enables kids to confidently deal with the intellectual challenges to Christianity, helping them understand how their faith is grounded in reason.”