Why Christians Need to Have Apologetics Skills
It is an art and science! It is one of the scientific fields that deal with demonstrating the truth, religious truth in the face of the heretics and promoters of falsehood.
It is an ‘art’ in a sense that it gives the Apologist the creativity to come up with diversified answers pertaining to the truth, for instance, the existence of God. The Holy Spirit is the one who illuminates the minds of the Apologists, giving them the ability to analyze intellectually and sometimes beyond their comprehension.
It is a ‘science’ in a sense it teaches you the basics of the defense! It is the science of defense. The Greek word for Apologetic is ‘Apologia.’ It is made up of two words. ‘Apo’ means ‘away’ and ‘logia’ means ‘speech’ and is mainly derived from 1 Peter 3:15, which states, "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."
The word Apologia is mentioned several times in the scripture and therefore it signifies the importance of its utility. The defense of the Christian faith was not a novelty but rather a norm conducted by Jesus as in his defense of monotheism (Mark 12:29) and his defense of philosophical arguments related to why the Galilean sinners died (Luke 13:1-5). Paul spent several ‘Sabbaths’ defending the Christian faith in defense of Jesus’ identity (Acts 17, 18 and 19), Peter (1 Peter 3:15) and others such as Jude (1:3-4) who exhorted the believers to contend for the faith.
What is the function of the Apologist?
Apologetics is like a field. In the center of the field is a garden. This garden has one door, and that door is Jesus. There is one path that leads to that door. Inside the garden is eternal life in the presence of God. Outside the field, however, are rocks, boulders, thorns, thistles, valleys, hills, and many false paths that lead nowhere.
The apologist resides in the field and points people to the true path so they can find the Garden. The apologist seeks to remove the intellectual thorns and emotional rocks that prevent people from finding the true path to God. Also, there are many people who are walking false paths (cults, philosophies, etc.) who will never reach that Garden. The apologist gently guides the person, removes the obstacles, and points in the direction of the Garden. When people arrive there, it is between them and God as to whether or not they enter.
Why do we need Apologetics?
As knowledge has increased with time, the necessity to counter anti-Christian philosophies, ideologies, theologies, ethics, etc … became evident. When truth is mixed with lies it becomes known as deception. Jesus said in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” For this reason Christians must know the truth of what they believe so that they counter every deliberate or non-deliberate lie schemed against the Christian faith. Moreover, we need to defend the Christian faith, the trend followed by the early Fathers until the present day.
Here are few reasons as well: The first and most obvious is that we are commanded to defend the faith as 1 Peter 3:15 states.
Second, we need apologetics because it helps Christians know their faith. This is something that is sadly lacking among believers. Most don't know much about their faith.
Third, Christian apologetics is an attempt to keep people out of hell by informing them about the Gospel. God takes sin very seriously, and He will punish those who have rebelled against Him and are not covered in the blood of Christ.
Fourth, we need apologetics because there is a constant threat of apostasy in the visible Christian church due to the lack of established doctrines and genuine love towards God.
Fifth, another reason we need apologetics is because many false teachings are out there. Read 2 Peter 2:1 and 1 Timothy 1:3.
Christianity is like a two-winged bird. It cannot fly without both wings. They are based on two fundamental wings that will make any Christian soar up on wings like eagles.
The first wing is related to Loving God and men with all your heart. (Mark 12:29-31).
The second wing is related to doctrine where we are commanded to preserve it as 1 Timothy 4:16 instructs us, and the scripture commands us to teach the right doctrine in Titus 2:1.