Defending the Faith. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” 1 Peter 3:15. What Is “Apologetics”?. Greek: apologia (apologia)
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear”
1 Peter 3:15
“a plea (‘apology’): - answer (for self), clearing of self, defence.” (Strong’s)
Word appears 8 times in the New Testament scriptures
(1 Peter 3:15; Acts 22:1; 25:16; 1 Cor. 9:3; 2 Cor. 7:11; Phil. 1:7; 1:17; 2 Timothy 4:16)
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.
“Christianity is either everything for mankind, or nothing. It is either the highest certainty, or the greatest delusion…. But if Christianity be everything for mankind, it is important for every man to be able to give a good reason for the hope that is in him in regard to the eternal verities of the Christian faith. To accept these verities in an unthinking way, or to receive them simply on authority, is not enough for an intelligent and stable faith.”
-- F.R. Beattie
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
The heart, soul and mind were designed to work in tangent. It is not necessary to reject reason in following the heart. In fact, it goes against how God has created each of us.
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Jesus said in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
“Faith in Christianity is based on evidence. It is reasonable faith. Faith in the Christian sense goes beyond reason but not against it.”
-- Paul Little
(Know What You Believe, pg. 30)
And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
The view that is doesn’t matter what you believe in, as long as you believe in something, is not valid.
The Christian faith is objective. It has an object… Christ!
“A Moslem fellow approached me and, during a most edifying conversation, said very sincerely, ‘I know many Moslems who have more faith in Mohammed than some Christians have in Christ.’ I said, ‘That may well be true, but the Christian is “saved.” You see, it doesn’t matter how much faith you have, but rather who is the object of your faith; that is important from the Christian perspective of faith.”
-- Josh McDowell
(The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, pg. 34)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
Unlike Greek mythology, the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, etc., are all attributed to an actual historical figure. A man the N.T. writers knew personally.
Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect under-standing of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus.
The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed.
The N.T. writers were not making up stories to teach moral lessons. They were eyewitnesses to the events which prove Jesus to be the exalted Son of God!
Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know.
Peter not only claimed to be an eyewitness, he said to the Jews, i.e., “You know it too!”
“When they [skeptics] study the life of Christ and read about His miracles or resurrection, they conclude that it was not a miracle or a resurrection because we know (not historically, but philosophically) that there is no God, we live in a closed system, miracles are not possible, and there is no supernatural. Therefore, these things cannot be. What men have done it to rule out the resurrection of Christ even before they start an historical investigation of the resurrection.”
-- Josh McDowell
(The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, pg. 34)
Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” 25 But he said, "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
History is knowledge of the past based on the testimony of worthy witnesses. (example: Our knowledge of Lincoln as president). It is not based upon preconception or philosophy.
“To recognize and respect [other’s beliefs and practices, and so forth] without sharing them … to bear or put up with [someone or something not especially liked].”
Webster’s New World Dictionary
“[Love] endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:7)
“The definition of new … tolerance is that every individual’s beliefs, lifestyle, and perception of truth claims are equal … Your beliefs and my beliefs are equal, and all is relative”
Thomas A. Helmbock
Denies objective truth. Real right and wrong. If Christianity is right, other religions are wrong!
Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you”
“I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”
Aldous Huxley, An Athiest
Individuals who reject Christ do so our of ignorance (often self-imposed) or bias.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Each of us should be able to give a defense of our faith. Our faith is reasonable, defendable, and able to save our souls.
To defend it may enable us to convert others to Christ to the saving of souls!