Christian Apologetics is a discipline that uses history, science, and philosophy to show that God exists and that He has revealed Himself most fully in Jesus Christ. Its purpose in Christianity is to strengthen the believers’ faith and to equip them with the tools necessary to explain their hope within, so they will effectively participate in cultural reform.
Apologetics is a necessary part of evangelism in our postmodern world. The lies of postmodernity have built up walls in the lives of many people that serve tokeep the gospel out. Lies such as truth does not exist, all religions are the same, the Bible is a forged book, and the resurrection was a fake, become a barricade to the light of the Gospel. Faithful evangelism requires us to know the cultural blockades that quarantine Jesus in our society. And more than just knowing them, we must be able to remove them.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. . . ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5
People often say that you can’t argue someone into heaven and apologetics has never saved anyone. They are right, mostly. The Gospel is what saves someone, not apologetics. But people must hear the Gospel to believe it and be saved. You would be right in saying that the Chinese language has never saved anyone. But if you are going to preach the Gospel in China, you had better learn Chinese. A good missionary would learn the language and customs of the people group they are visiting. Faithful missionaries do not say, “I don’t need to learn Chinese; I’ve got the gospel.” That would be a ridiculous attitude.
Likewise, as good missionaries, we need words and concepts that are suitable to convey the truth of the Gospel to our culture. We must learn to speak the language of our time. Apologetics helps to create a common language for the skeptic and believer to communicate. By enabling the Christian to explain things like the existence of absolute truth, apologetics allows the Gospel to be heard.
Some of this material is adapted from Relational Apologetics and is used with permission from Kregel books.