Apologetics is providing a reasoned defense for the faith we have in Christ and the hope that gives us. Typically, we would practice apologetics as we interact with people who have questions about what we believe. It is one aspect of evangelism – sharing the core of the Gospel. Evangelism and apologetics could be considered two sides of the same coin.
This leads us to the question of how to properly engage in apologetics. Does the Bible give us a framework? Are there examples of biblical figures practicing it? Are there different schools of thought?
When we look at the landscape of apologetics, there are basically two camps: evidentialists and presuppositionalists. There are unfortunate terms since presuppositionalists use evidence and evidentialists have presuppositions. The basic difference is that evidentialists tend to leave the Bible out of their reasoning, at least initially, and presuppositionalists demand the Bible to be the foundation for every argument presented in defense of the faith. If you know anything about the Intelligent Design movement, they argue in the evidential manner. They purposefully leave the Bible and any specific “creator” out of their arguments against naturalistic evolution. They argue without starting from the truth of Scripture. However, believing in a generic “designer” does not bring someone to salvation. Paul took an opposite approach and stated very clearly that it is the Gospel, not arguments about blood-clotting and DNA, that is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).
- What are we to always be ready to do? Do you think you are ready for this?
- What does the Apostle Peter say we should do first? How do we do this?
- With what attitude are we to give a defense to others?
This passage is not so much about spiritual warfare as it is “intellectual warfare.” The Apostle Paul speaks of “casting down arguments” and “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
- What kinds of weapons do we have? What are they to be used for?
- How would this perspective affect how we present the Gospel and apologetic answers?
- How did Paul build a bridge with the men of Athens?
- What allusions to the book of Genesis do you see in Paul’s presentation?
- What essential parts of the Gospel did Paul present?
- What was the response of those who heard?
Review the memory verse with your family.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
that statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Thank God for the Gospel message, which is for all people. Ask Him for boldness to share it with others and for meekness and gentleness as we seek to be ambassadors for Christ in our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.