Saturday, July 9, 2016

A short, quick introduction to Christian apologetics

1 Peter 3:15 "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

In today's post I want to offer a short treatment on the definition of Christian apologetics and its role in the Christian life. By understanding what Christian apologetics is all about and what function it has in Christian development (i.e discipleship), the reader will hopefully become intrigued to study further on this subject. 

Defining Christian Apologetics
Dr. William Lane Craig in his book: "Reasonable Faith", page 15, defines Christian apologetics as follows:
Christian apologetics may be defined as that branch of Christian theology which seeks to provide rational warrant for Christianity’s truth claims." 

Readers may had noticed the picture associated with today's post, featuring a chess board with opposing armies of chess pieces. When this blogger snapped the above photograph, the thought came to mind about the importance of fighting the good fight of faith. The point of this blogsite to equip, defend and explore the supernatural, doctrinal and practical areas of the Christian worldview. Apologetics is a crucial tool. As the opening verse of today's post states, we must give an answer. 

In having defined Christian apologetics, what does the above definition have to tell us of the place of Christian apologetics in the Christian life? 

We can give three brief responses to the place and role Christian apologetics can play in the development of one's Christian life and worldview. 

1. For starters, apologetics serves theology. It seeks to explain the Christian faith to unbelievers; confirm the faith to believers and show connections to other doctrines. 

2. Second, rational warrant and justification – i.e – the grounds for believing why we believe. When we speak of justifying Christian truth claims - we are giving reasonable arguments and evidences for why we believe Christianity to be true. When we talk of warrant, we are referring to that quality of the Christian worldview that demonstrates actual knowledge of God, the truth claims of Christianity and the reality of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. 

3. Then thirdly, Christian apologetics focuses on Christian truth claims so as to progress the Christian worldview among unbelievers.

Closing thoughts
My hope is that in this brief post, the reader is better acquainted with what we mean by the term "Christian apologetics", as well as its significance for the Christian in the 21st century. I close out today's post with three links to major Christian apologists that can equip the reader to "dig deeper".