The meaning of the word “apology” has morphed over the centuries. It comes from the Greek word apologia, which originally meant “a speech made in defense.” We find it used several times in the New Testament where the writer speaks of either defending oneself against the accusations of others or defending the gospel by offering reasons to believe (Acts 26:2; Phil. 1:7, 16; 2 Tim. 4:16; 1 Peter 3:15). The word presupposes that people believe things for reasons, and are therefore obligated to offer those reasons when challenged.
Christian apologetics in our contemporary context becomes an exercise in formulating and communicating the rational basis for the Christian worldview, thus commending it to the spiritual seeker for his or her consideration as a viable option in the marketplace of ideas. For the Christian, apologetics serves the purpose of deepening his or her conviction that what is accepted by faith is firmly rooted in reason. In this latter sense, the New Testament employs the Greek word bebaioo, which means “to make firm, establish, make secure” (Rom. 15:8; 1 Cor. 1:6; Heb. 2:3, 13:9). It is from this conviction that the Christian may confidently deliver his or her testimony.
Christian apologetics is unique in that it begins with reasoned dialogue (Greek: dialegomenos) not dogma (Acts 17:2, 18:4, 19:8) intended to persuade (Greek: peitho) not preach (Acts 18:4; 19:8). People believe things for reasons, but they need to be good reasons. Persuasion is the means by which connections are made between reasons and belief. A good reason resonates with what is true, that is, it is a “truth indicator.” Loving Christian apologists package good reasons to believe Christianity in culturally sensitive ways, in ways which the culture can grasp.
Therefore, Christians do not offer their faith to others simply because it works or because it is useful. We commend the faith to seekers because we are convinced that it is true, and, therefore, superior in that sense to any other worldview, sacred or secular. The New Testament claims that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and, if this is true, then all that Jesus said and did must be true as well. The Old Testament claims that God created the world out of nothing, and, if this is true, then all that we possess is a gift of God’s grace.
The Bible further claims that human beings were specially created by God to live in relationship with him and with each other and to steward the resources of the earth for our mutual benefit and God’s glory. The Christian believes that all of this is true, and that theology, philosophy, history, and science all converge in demonstration of this truth. Faith and reason, science and the Bible, rational thought and theology are not foes, but friends. They are not pugilists, but partners in proclaiming the glory of God. It is the task of Christian apologetics to make this case, and it is to that end that this blogsite has been created.
We welcome believer and seeker alike to participate in a spirit of grace and discovery. In pursuit of truth, let's follow the evidence wherever it leads. Jesus himself proclaimed that knowing the truth is the path to freedom (John 8:32). Have your say, and enjoy your stay, but please comment with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).