What is Apologetics?
Christians understand faith not as 'belief despite the lack of evidence', but rather as placing our trust in God. We believe in God, not merely believe that God exists. Christian apologetics is making a case for the truth of the Christian faith.
1 Peter 3:15 [ESV]: "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,"
Is Apologetics Biblical?
Jesus appealed to miracles and to fulfilled prophecy to demonstrate that His claims were true (Luke 24:25–27; John 14:11). The apostles used fulfilled prophecy, Jesus’ miracles, and especially Jesus’ resurrection to show that He was the Messiah (Acts 2). The apostles also sought to show the existence of God through His handiwork in nature (Acts 14:17, Romans 1:20), and eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ resurrection to show further that Christianity is true (1 Corinthians 15:3–8).
Why Is Apologetics Important?
Shaping culture: The gospel is always heard against our cultural backdrop. Presenting arguments and evidence will help to create a culture in which Christian belief is seen as a reasonable option.
Strengthening believers: Knowing what and why we believe will make us more confident in sharing our faith. Apologetics can also help us to keep the faith in times of doubt and struggle. It reminds us that our faith is not based on emotions but on the truth, and therefore we must hold on to it.
Attracting seekers: We become a more effective witness by being equipped to give reasons for the hope within. We can also reach those who will respond to rational argument and evidence and turn to Christ. Such persons can have tremendous impact, such as C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel.
How should we do apologetics?
One way is to use arguments, which are reasons that supports the case, consisting of one or more premises and a conclusion. An example is the moral argument:
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.
Good apologetics involves “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians. 4:15) and being gentle and respectful (1 Peter 3:15). We can present a defense of the Christian faith without becoming defensive. We can present arguments for Christianity without becoming argumentative.
What difference does it make if God Exists?
If God does not exist, life is without ultimate or objective meaning, value, or purpose.
Meaning has to do with significance, why something matters. We will die, and the universe will experience a heat death. Unless there is a transcendent God and eternal life, our lives have no objective meaning. While we can attempt to ascribe meaning, value or purpose to our lives, these are subjective illusions. Objective meaning can only come from a personal Creator who has endowed creation with meaning and significance.
Value has to do with good and evil, right and wrong. If life ends at the grave, we may as well just live as we please. Furthermore, without God, there is no foundation for objective moral values and duties.
Purpose has to do with a goal, a reason for something. Without God, life and everything that happens is ultimately purposeless, since the universe and Man simply came into existence due to a cosmic accident.
While this does not prove that God exists, it underscores the predicament we face if we reject the existence of God.