Please Support the Bible Translation Work of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology that endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining, persuading, proving, and defending, as one instructs in sound doctrine, often having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. It can also be earnestly contending for the faith and saving one from losing their faith, as they have begun to doubt. Moreover, it can involve rebuking those who contradict the truth. It is being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks the Christian evangelist for a reason for the hope that is in him or her. – Jude 1.3, 21-23; 1 Pet 3.15; Acts 17:2-3; Titus 1:9.
Why the Need for Apologetics?
1 Timothy 2:3-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to an accurate knowledge* of truth.
Why Should We Be Interested in the Religion of Others?
* Epignosis is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning, “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis.
The world has become a melting pot of people, cultures, values, and many different religions. Religion has the most significant impact on the lives of mankind today. In India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia (especially in Bali- 84% Hindu), Hinduism is practiced. You will often see people doing puja, a prayer ritual performed by Hindus of devotional worship to one or more deities, or to host and honor a guest, or one to spiritually celebrate an event. Millions of Hindus flock each year to the river Ganges to be purified by its waters.
In Mexico, Middle America, South America, the Philippines, the United States, and Italy Catholics are praying in churches and cathedrals while holding a crucifix or a rosary. The rosary refers to a form of prayer used in the Catholic Church and the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers offered in devotion to Mary. The nuns and priests are easily identified, as they are distinctive in their black garb.
In Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the central, eastern, and northern parts of Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the eastern, northern, and western parts of Switzerland and the United States, we find Protestant lands. There you will discover chapels and churches abound, and on Sunday, churchgoers usually put on their best clothes and congregate to sing hymns and hear sermons, as well as a Bible study class. Many times, the minister, clergy, pastors, or elders are somewhat distinctive in that some wear black suits, or at least a suit, while many churchgoers do not. Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles grew the one Christian faith from a few thousand on Pentecost 33 C.E. to hundreds of thousands throughout the Roman Empire by the beginning of the second century C.E. However, historian Will Durant states: “Faced with the Hostility of a powerful [Roman] government, the church felt the need of unity; it could not safely allow itself to be divided into a hundred feeble parts by every wind of intellect, by disloyal heretics, ecstatic prophets, or brilliant sons. Celsus [an enemy of Christianity] himself had sarcastically observed that Christians were ‘split up into ever so many factions, each individual desiring to have his own party.’ About 187 [C.E.] Irenaeus listed twenty varieties of Christianity; about 384 [C.E.] Epiphanius counted eighty. At every point, foreign ideas were creeping into Christian belief, and Christian believers were deserting to novel sects.” (The Story of Civilization: Part III—Caesar and Christ.) Today, there are over 41,000 different denominations that call themselves Christian. Almost all are not reflective of the form of Christianity that Jesus started, and the apostles grew. Thus, genuine Christianity is obligated to save those Christians who are no longer on the correct path.
In Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Brunei, Qatar, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mauritania, Islamic countries, you can hear the voices of men, the muezzins, who call to call Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque. These Muslim criers make the call from minarets five times each day, summoning the faithful to the ṣalat, that is, the ritual prayer of Muslims. All Muslims view the Holy Quran as the Islamic book of Scripture. Under Islamic belief, the Quran was revealed by God and was given to the prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel in the seventh century C.E. the Islamic sacred book, believed to be the word of God as dictated to Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel and written down in Arabic. The Quran consists of 114 units of varying lengths, known as Surahs (a chapter or section of the Quran); the first Surah is said as part of the ritual prayer. These touch upon all aspects of human existence, including matters of doctrine, social organization, legislation, and holy war.
In Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka, we find the monks of Buddhism, usually in saffron, black, or red robes, who are viewed as a sign of piety. Ancient temples with the serene Buddha on display are evidence of the antiquity of the Buddhist faith, as some date to sixth-century B.C.E.
In Japan, the Shinto religion is practiced in daily life, with family shrines and offerings being made to their ancestors. The Japanese pray for the most mundane things, even success in school examinations.
These are only a few of the major religions that make up billions of people throughout the earth. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with “faith” or “belief system,” but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. What can we extrapolate from the variety of religions with billions of devoted adherents? Literally, for thousands of years, mankind has tried to fill its spiritual needs. For thousands of years, man has sought answers to the most troubling questions about life. Why is there so much suffering? Why are we here? How should we live? What are we actually? Why do we grow old, get sick, and eventually die? What does the future hold for mankind? Man has suffered from the trials and burdens of life, doubts about his future, and questions that seem to have no answer. Because man has an inherent spiritual need, religion, in many different ways, has sought to fill that need through God and gods, seeking the blessing from something greater than themselves.
Then again, there are millions of people around the world who profess no religion nor any belief in a god (Atheism), or at least they cannot know for certain if there is some power (God) greater than themselves (Agnostics). However, that obviously does not mean that they are people without religion of principles or ethics, any more than professing a religion means that one does have them. However, one of the definitions of religion in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is this: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.” Certainly, atheism fits that definition, and many atheists are quite zealous about their faith system, many being more zealous than much of Christianity. Another source, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, accepts religion as being “devotion to some principle; strict fidelity or faithfulness; conscientiousness; pious affection or attachment.” Therefore, the atheist and the Agnostic have a religious devotion in their lives.
All disciples of Jesus Christ are to be Christian apologetic evangelists. (Matt. 24:14; 29-;19-20; Ac 1:8; 10:42; Jude 1:3, 22-23; 1 Pet. 3:15) If Christians are going to carry out the Great Commission, they need to know something about the background of the world’s religions in order to be effective. Parrinder states in World Religions—From Ancient History to the Present: “To study different religions need not imply infidelity to one’s own faith, but rather it may be enlarged by seeing how other people have sought for reality and have been enriched by their search.” When we have at least a basic knowledge of other religions, this leads to understanding and understanding to a tolerance of people with a different viewpoint, which is in no way suggesting that we accept anything unbiblical.
Why Examine Other Religions?
Many today see their religion as a very personal matter, which they are hesitant about discussing with others. Largely, this is because most are born into their religion because of where they were raised and the parents they had. Sadly, they are usually following the religion of their parents and grandparents with little or no idea about the religion itself. Therefore, religion for many is simply a family tradition. Thus, religion has been chosen for them.
In a sense, many in the world assume that the religion they received at birth is the complete truth. Again, if they were born in Italy or South America, then, without any choice on their part, they have likely been raised a Catholic. On the other hand, if they were born in India, they were likely born into Hinduism or, if from Punjab, perhaps a Sikh. If their parents are from Pakistan, there is little doubt that they were raised in Islam as Muslims. Then, again, if they were raised in Russia, it is likely that they might be an atheist. – Galatians 1:13-14; Acts 23:6.
Therefore, it seems only wise that they ask if a religion they were born into is automatically the true religion approved by God. If the people of a thousand years ago had the mindset that the religion of my parents was good enough for them, it is good enough for me attitude; many among us would still be following practicing primitive shamanism and ancient fertility cults. It is at least enlightening and mind-broadening for Christians to understand what others believe and how their beliefs originated. And it might also open up opportunities for Christian apologetic evangelists to share the truth of God’s Word with them a sure hope for the future. Because of mass immigration over the past few decades, Christians are now sharing neighborhoods with people of many different religious backgrounds. Therefore, When the Christian evangelist understands their viewpoint, it can lead to more meaningful communication and conversation between two people of different faiths. Yes, there is a strong disagreement among many religions, yet this is no reason for hating a person of a different faith or a different viewpoint. – 1 Peter 3:15; 1 John 4:20-21; Revelation 2:6.
The Mosaic Law stated, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am Jehovah.” (Lev. 19:17-18) Jesus Christ stated, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you … But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil men.” (Lu 6:27, 35) In evangelizing Islam, we can let the Muslim know that under the heading “She That Is To Be Examined,” the Quran states a similar principle (Surah 60:7, MMP): “It may be that Allah will bring about friendship between you and those of them whom you hold as enemies. And Allah is Powerful; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” How is it that we are to love our enemy? It means that we are willing to share the Gospel with them, a lifesaving message. While Christians are to be tolerant of others and eagerly evangelizing persons from other religions, this does not mean that it makes no difference what one believes. They are not just different roads leading to the same place, as some claim. It is the God of the Bible that is the determiner of what form of worship is acceptable. – Micah 6:8.
The Books of Moses, the first portion of the Holy Bible, is the world’s oldest religious book, initially penned under inspiration in the 16th and 15th centuries. On the other hand, the Hindu writings of the Rig-Veda (a collection of hymns) were completed about 900 B.C.E. and do not claim divine inspiration. The Buddhist “Canon of the Three Baskets” dates back to the fifth-century B.C.E. The Quran, claimed to have been transmitted from God through the angel Gabriel, was supposedly given to Muhammad in the seventh century C.E. The Book of Mormon was allegedly given to Joseph Smith in the United States by an angel called Moroni in the 19th century. If any of these other so-called holy books were also divinely inspired, as is claimed by their adherents, they would not contradict the teachings of the Bible, which is the original inspired source.
Many billions in this world are walking through this satanic age of the last days believing that this life is all there is. Others, if they believe in eternal life, the path they have chosen does not lead there at all. Even those who believe that they are doing the will of the Father, Jesus has said,” ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt. 7:23) Why would Jesus say this? Isn’t it enough if your heart is in the right place? No. Many have been doing their will rather than the will of the Father. Therefore, in the eyes of Jesus, they are nothing more “workers of lawlessness.” Nevertheless, while there is still time, we can save some who are receptive to the truth. While there is but one Gospel, one biblical truth, there are many ways of delivering that lifesaving message. This one message saves the lives of those who are receptive to it and if we are effective in providing it. However, do not be disheartened, as many more will reject it than accept it. Jesus was the most outstanding teacher of all time, and the apostle Paul was the second greatest. Yet, many hardhearted ones rejected their message.
One Word—One Gospel
Some church leaders today are nine parts world and one part Christian. They propagate the idea that the church is to mold itself to reflect the makeup of its community. They seem to be saying, a church is reflective of its community. The idea is that the church, pastor/leadership should reflect its community. No, it should be that the members of the church, who came out of the community, should reflect the image of God. The goal of genuine Christianity is how we can reintroduce God’s Word to the people? We should conform those in the world who are alienated from God so that they take on the mind of Christ, a biblical worldview. Paul wrote, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) The whole point can be summed up in this; the whole congregation going into the community must share the Gospel, evangelize the community. The congregation must be first trained in evangelizing, communication, reasoning, and teaching so that they can effectively relate the Word of God to the community. Yes, they need to relate to the community and be in the world but be no part of the world.
Luke 6:40 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
Just how effective was Jesus? How effective were his apostles and early disciples? Jesus’ early disciples carried on the work that he had commanded them to accomplish, which ran throughout the Roman Empire, in Asia, Europe, and Africa. (Matt 24:14; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) At the beginning of the second century, there were over a million Christians and estimated to be between 5-7 million by 300 C.E. In fact, the Christians displaced pagan religion as the official religion by 400 C.E. If an evangelism training program within a church is not ineffective; the one who set up the program is ineffective.
It is quite simple; make a biblical church that is reflective of the New Testament in principle, which has members who are trained in effectively sharing God’s Word to all sorts of people in their community, proclaiming, teaching, and making disciples, regardless of the culture one is from.
A Biblical Church
- The Bible is their foundation in faith, truth, and practice
- Biblical preaching
- The worship is based on Scriptural principles
- The building is designed based on Scriptural principles
- The music chosen is based on biblical principles
- The education is biblical
- The worldview and lifestyle of its members is biblical
- Its evangelism is patterned after the New Testament
- The pastors and servants are chosen based on Scripture
- The structure of leadership is based on Scripture
- Church discipline is based on Scripture
- Organized and governed based on Scripture
- And so on …
All the while, its members can relate to whoever is in the community. It has an acceptance of cultural aspects if they are not in opposition to the Word of God. This means that they are welcome to engage in any cultural lifestyle that does not violate Scripture. For example, a woman could wear any type of dress that is relevant to her culture, as long as it is modest. There are literally tens of millions of unbelieving North Americans walking around with a receptive heart to the biblical truth, the deeper Gospel. They are low-hanging fruit from the tree of potential disciples; all Christians have to do is pick them. Some will be easy to bring into the fold; some will have to be reasoned with to overcome their firmly entrenched ideas, while some will have to have their criticisms overcome before they begin to believe.
Christian Apologetics Is a Tool that can Clear Away Any
Obstruction to Faith in Jesus Christ
Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information to grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart to be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. In the beginning, we may not be explicitly sharing the Gospel, but instead clearing away anything that might obstruct them from accepting the Gospel. This is called Preevangelism. Sadly, many who have come into the Christian faith did not do so through any kind of investigation into the authenticity and authority of the Bible, the historicity of Jesus Christ, and they lack any deep knowledge of God’s Word. They feel as though they have the truth, but they have not been equipped to explain it to others. The following three things are needed, and none of the three can be missing.
To become a spiritually strong, mature Christian, one must …
- obtain an accurate, broad knowledge of Bible truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4),
- put faith in the things we have learned (Hebrews 11:6),
- repent of your sins (Acts 17:30-31), and
- turn around in your course of life. (Acts 3:19);
- Then our love for God should move us to dedicate ourselves to Christ. (Matt. 16:24; 22:37)
- Finally, baptism (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-10; Acts 8:36)
Many Christians believe that they have found true Christianity, but they do not have a correct understanding of the Word of God nor the ability to explain it. If one is missing the knowledge aspect, he cannot maintain his belief in something he has no actual in-depth knowledge of, so this must be corrected right away. Christians who have found themselves believers of the faith but unable to be defenders of the faith are often uncomfortable talking about their faith. They become somewhat defensive if anyone challenges their faith, the Word of God, or the existence of God. This is because they have not acquired enough deep knowledge of God’s Word to offer reasonable and rational reasons for Christianity. What will happen many times is that they will (1) lock themselves out of any conversation that might lead to an opportunity at sharing their faith, or (2) they become contentious, combative, or even hostile, which only alienates the unbeliever even further. This places them in opposition to the very Great Commission Jesus gave them. – Matthew 28:19–20.
Christians are to be in the world while being no part of the world, which does not mean withdrawing from the world and isolating themselves among Christians alone. Christians are to be the salt and the light. (Matt. 5:13-16) Suppose one is new to the Christian faith or has been a Christian for decades. In that case, it is incumbent upon him to take in a deeper knowledge of God’s Word to share our doctrinal views, what the authors meant as opposed to what we think, feel, or believe they meant, and acquire the skills needed to effectively share our faith with others. In other words, he needs to have a deep personal Bible study program, prepare for his Christian meetings, and become informed about Christian apologetics and evangelism. When called upon, he has to be able to rise to the challenges of his faith. Have you ever been confronted by an unbeliever who had some challenging questions for you and had to defend your Christian faith? How would you have reacted if challenged with the questions and statements below? Would you have accurate, reasonable, logical answers, or would you become contentious, combative, or even hostile, giving a short response that would persuade no one?
- Jesus never existed.
- Why would an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing God allow so much pain and suffering?
- No one can prove God existed.
- How can God, holy, righteous, of love, all-powerful be justified in destroying cities and killing men, women, and young children in Bible times?
- There is no evidence to support Jesus’ supposed resurrection from the dead.
- Men wrote the Bible. It is full of errors, contradictions, and mistakes.
- There are no such things as miracles.
- Everyone has their own personal interpretation of the Bible.
- All religions are just different roads leading to the same place.
- Christianity has spilled more blood than most militaries.
- There is no such thing as absolute truth.
- Christianity is based on blind faith.
- Christianity is a laundry list of things to do and not do, meaning that Christians have no freedom or free will.
- Once you become a Christian, being saved by God’s gift of grace, it does not matter what you do.
- The New Testament was written long after the events took place and is thus subject to legends being inserted into the text and many mistakes, contradictions, and errors.
- The Bible has been changed or is otherwise not faithful to the original manuscripts.
- The Greek New Testament has over 400,000 scribal errors but only 137,000 words.
- The Bible conflicts with science.
- The Bible promotes slavery.
- The Bible demeans women.
- The Bible is simply out of date and should not be followed.
- The God of the Bible is immoral.
These are just some questions of the types of questions a Christian might face when trying to discuss the Bible, in which they would be obligated to have a ready answer or be willing to go research and find the answer. It is not simply about finding the solution alone, but also how effectively one can deliver that solution. Can he actively listen, reason from the Scriptures, and overturn false reasoning? Christian apologetics shows us and others while our Christian faith does not hinge on reason, we are also aware that our Christian faith isn’t without rational, reasonable answers either. Our Christian faith is not based on emotions alone, it isn’t something we were born into, or simply one out of many religions, and we merely prefer Christianity over the others. Christian apologetics seeks to answer the many hundreds of Bible difficulties that exist in the sixty-six books of the Bible. Bible Difficulties are difficulties that arise because the Bible was written in Hebrew, some Aramaic, and Greek over 1,600 years by some forty+ authors, in dozens of different historical settings that require much Bible background knowledge. Christian apologetics seeks to show that there are no contradictions, errors, or mistakes in the Bible but rather in the originals and an excellent literal translation it is infallible. Christian apologetics seeks to remove misconceptions and misunderstandings. Christian apologetics aims to provide those with a receptive heart actual evidence for Christianity, the faith, and the inerrant, infallible, authentic, and the accurate Word of God. Christian apologetics seeks to demonstrate the deficiencies and flaws of atheism and other religious worldviews that are at odds with the historic Christian faith. Christian apologetics offers something far superior in place of every different worldview that has existed or will exist. What do we gain by training ourselves in Christian apologetics? We take on the same boldness that the apostle Paul possessed. We have a built-up hope that dwells in us, and we never have to live out our Christian lives being defensive, contentious, combative, or even hostile because we are always prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason. – 1 Peter 3:15.
Some Christians claim that all we need is faith. We do not need to learn apologetics, they say. In fact, they argue that our quest for reasons and logical answers to such things is contrary to faith and even evidences a lack of faith. This wrong mindset is self-defeating within itself because the person spouting such has not even taken the time to have a correct understanding of “faith” (Gr. pistis) itself. Believe, faith, trust in: (Gr. pisteuo) If pisteuo is followed by the Greek preposition eis, (“into, in, among,” accusative case), it is normally rendered “trusting in” or “trust in.” (John 3:16, 36; 12:36; 14:1) The grammatical construction of the Greek verb pisteuo “believe” followed by the Greek preposition eis “into” in the accusative gives us the sense of having faith into Jesus, putting faith in, trusting in Jesus. – Matt. 21:25, 32; 27:42; John 1:7, 12; 2:23–24; 3:15-16, 36; 6:47; 11:25; 12:36; 14:1; 20:31; Acts 16:31; Rom. 4:3.
A Grammar of New Testament Greek series, by James Moulton, says, “The importance of the difference between mere belief … and personal trust.” Both these senses can be conveyed using the Greek word pisteuo. The context helps us to identify the different definitions of the meaning of pisteuo. Then again, we also have other grammatical constructions that convey what the Bible author meant by his use of the word. When pisteuo is simply followed by a noun in the dative case, it is merely rendered as “believe,” such as the chief priest and elders’ response to Jesus at Matthew 21:25, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ However, in Romans 4:3, we have pisteuo follow by a noun in the dative in the Updated American Standard Version, yet it is rendered “For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham put faith in God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (The ASV, RSV, ESV, NASB, and others have “Abraham believed God”)
If pisteuo is followed by the Greek preposition epi, “on,” it can be rendered “believe in” or believe on.” At Matthew 27:42, it reads, “we will believe in him [i.e., Jesus].” In Acts 16:31, it reads “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved …” (KJV, UASV similarly) What is the difference between “believing in Jesus” and “believing on Jesus”? Believing in Jesus is merely acknowledging that he exists while believing on Jesus is to accept absolutely, have no doubt or uncertainty, trust in, put faith in or trust in, and exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is not so much something Christians have, but rather something Christians carry out.
Therefore, pisteuo and pistis contain a number of senses, all of them encompassing a deliberate, purposeful, engaged trust into Jesus Christ. Our confidence in Jesus Christ is because we have reasons to do so, and actual evidence supports and justifies our faith. It is not an empty belief. In other words, Jesus is not a true historical person, the divine Son of God, because we believe this to be so anymore than it is untrue because an atheist believes it. We start our initial investigation based on some essential insights because trusted persons have told us it is so, and we feel that they understand God’s Word. Then, we follow this up by evaluating what we have come to accept as truth. After that, we assess the claims by any opposition against the evidence that we have. It is then that we can exercise faith that is grounded in weighty evidence. We can use apologetics and evangelism to walk those at odds with our Christian faith through the same process. The Bible does not hold back from calling those who accept something without mediating or pondering fools. When we hear the common expression, “you just have to have faith” or “you just have to believe,” we will now know that he has not even taken the time to research the term “faith” and has no idea what “faith” is.
Acts 17:2-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.
Acts 17:10-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
Acts 22:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
22 “Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make to you.”
Philippians 1:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the Gospel.
Philippians 1:16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the Gospel.
1 Peter 3:15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, 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;
Jude 3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the holy ones.
The objective of Christian apologetics is to persuade to save lives, not to win arguments. We might win a given argument, but our tone and demeanor in doing so may very well push a person away from the faith. All Christians are to proclaim the Word of God, teach, and make disciples, and Christian apologetics is one way in which we do so. God could very easily and quickly expose Himself to every human as He did with the apostle Paul, but He chose to use us, imperfect humans, to make Him known to the world. This is a privilege, not a burden. We are to do this with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15), seasoning our words with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Col. 4:6) We need to remember, it is the Holy Spirit that saves people. We are fortunate enough to play a role in the process. As we inform, the Holy Spirit is acting upon the hearts of those receptive to Bible truth. Christian apologetics can be carried out by evangelizing the community house to house, in the public square, when waiting at the doctor’s office, traveling on public transportation, phone, and social media. Most are begun by starting spontaneous conversations, so Christians need to always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks them for a reason.
- Basic Evangelism is planting seeds of truth and watering any seeds that have been planted. [In the basic sense of this word (euaggelistes), this would involve all Christians.] In some cases, it may be that one Christian planted the seed, which was initially rejected, so he was left in a good way because the planter did not try to force the truth down his throat. However, later he faces something in life that moves him to reconsider those seeds and another Christian waters what had already been planted by the first Christian. This evangelism can be carried out in all available methods: informal, house-to-house, street, phone, internet, and the like. The amount of time invested in the evangelism work is up to each Christian to decide for themselves.
- Making Disciples is having any role in the process of getting an unbeliever from his unbelief state to the point of accepting Christ as his Savior. Once the unbeliever has become a believer, he is still developed by the one who brought him into the faith until he has become spiritually mature and strong. Any Christian could potentially carry this one person through all of the developmental stages. On the other hand, it may be that several have some parts. It is like a person specializing in a certain aspect of a job, but all are aware of the other aspects if they are called on to carry out that phase. Again, each Christian must decide for themselves what role they are to have and how much of a role, but should be prepared to fill any role if needed.
- Part-Time or Full-Time Evangelist sees this as their calling and chooses to be very involved as an evangelist in their local church and community. They may work part-time to supplement their work as an evangelist. They may be married with children, but they realize their gift is in the field of evangelism. If it were the wife, the husband would work toward supporting her work as an evangelist and vice-versa. If it were a single person, they would supplement their work by being employed part-time, but also the church would also help. This person is well trained in every aspect of bringing one to Christ.
- Congregation Evangelists should be very involved in evangelizing their communities and helping the church members play their role at the basic levels of evangelism. There is nothing to say that one church could not have many who take on part-time or full-time evangelism within the congregation, which would and should be cultivated.
 James Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, Vol. 1: Prolegomena (London, England: T & T Clark International, 2006), 68.
 Or with all readiness of mind. The Greek word prothumias means that one is eager, ready, mentally prepared to engage in some activity.
 Or argument; or explanation
Leave a Reply