Apologetics – When It Matters Most

When I introduce the subject of apologetics to most Christians (either in a large group or individuals) I have found that many seem very interested. Often times people will say to me, “now I can better answer questions that non-Christians ask me!” In fact, at every church where I have shared my study, people have shared their enthusiasm with me about how they feel this study will help them be a better witness to skeptical people they encounter.

While apologetics can certainly help believers feel more confident in sharing their faith, most fail to see initially how the study of apologetics can impact their own personal relationship with Christ. Most Christians yearn to have more confidence in God, to know that in spite of our circumstances we can still trust our Heavenly Father. We desire this confidence in God, because we know there are times in our lives when for various reasons we don’t feel God’s presence, but we long to know he is still there with us. Apologetics focuses on the knowing. One way that we gain confidence in our Heavenly Father is being able to defend the truthfulness of his existence as well as the truthfulness of his words to us in the Bible. When we don’t feel God’s presence and his love for us, we can KNOW it exists, because no matter how powerful our feelings are to us they can’t alter the truthfulness of the gospel.

Andy Stanley defines Biblical faith as being confident that God is who he says he is and will do all he has promised to do. Based on this definition (which is consistent with the Biblical definition in Hebrews 11), if we want to grow or increase our faith, then we need more confidence that God is who he says he is. Through studying apologetics the believer can come to know and have good reasons for what they believe, therefore increasing their confidence in the truthfulness of their beliefs. It is this faith, Biblical faith, that will sustain you in a time of need. So apologetics is so much more than just being able to answer people’s challenging questions, it is about knowing in your own heart the reason for the hope that you have. If you don’t know, how can’t you share it with others?