Apologetics: A Bazooka…Really?

Apologetics – “A systematic argumentative discourse in defense.” This from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. But what are apologetics actually for? What purpose do they accomplish? How should we use them?

Instead of being exhaustive in my answer, let me take a different approach – I’ll explain what they’re not for.

As a young and impressionable teenager I was taught a little mini-course on apologetics. Several things were covered: the archaeological record of the Bible, the trustworthiness of the Bible, etc. Much of it, however, focused on the apparent clash between science and the Bible. Some of what I learned that week was helpful, some of it wasn’t.

The least helpful by far was a comment made by the speaker during an impassioned monologue against evolutionary science.

“I’m gonna give you a bazooka so you can go home and blow your science teachers away!”

Amen! I felt like I was in a war, pulse racing, adrenaline pumping. I was ready to take the ammunition I had been given so that I could go home and shame science teachers, atheists, and skeptics alike.

Huh? Is that what it’s really about? Shaming people? Confronting them? Blowing them away?

And yet this is often how apologetics are used, and if we’re not careful, it’s how you and I can begin thinking about them. Apologetics are for me to learn to use on others.

But has it ever occurred to you that apologetics may sometimes be better used for you to shape, convince, and encourage your own heart?

In my life, I’ve found this use of apologetics to be far more beneficial than the adversarial one. Over the next few weeks look for Saturdays here on ESI to have an apologetic tone to them. But don’t read them to use them on others or advert your eyes because apologetics are a waste of time since you already believe, read them to use on your own heart.

I’ll end with a quote that’s been ringing in my ears, which eloquently persuades us to remember that our faith is a reasonable and historic one that is grounded in reality –

“It’s like this: if you love a person, your love goes beyond the facts of that person, but it’s rooted in the facts about that person. For example, you love your wife because she’s gorgeous, she’s nice, she’s sweet, she’s kind…But your love goes beyond that. You can know all these things about your wife and not be in love with her and put your trust in her, but you do…So it is with falling in love with Jesus. To have a relationship with Jesus Christ goes beyond just knowing the historical facts about him, yet it’s rooted in the historical facts about him. I believe in Jesus on the basis of the historical evidence, but my relationship goes way beyond the evidence. I have to put my trust in him and walk with him on a daily basis.”

Join me as we take a look at some of the historical and rational basis for our faith.

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