Misty Keith is back this week with another great Word Nerd Wednesday study on a word we don’t always understand – Apologetics.
Apologetics – comes from the Greek word ἀπολογία, which literally means to speak in defense of. In the modern world, apologetics is the discipline of defending or proving the truth of religious doctrines through systematic argumentation or discourse. However, in order to to get the purest form of the definition of apologetics, we should remove the words religion and doctrines from the definition. We are then left with a clearer picture of what apologetics means. In short, apologetics is the discipline of defending or proving “the truth.”
What has been spoken or written that should be defended?
The answer is quite simple, yet hard for many to grasp. It is “the truth.” Truth is proven fact or reality. Truth is absolute, not relative. Since truth is absolute, many will try and refute it or prove that it doesn’t really exist. For over two thousand years, people have been trying to argue against Jesus and His claims. The fact of the matter is, Jesus can’t be refuted. There is so much evidence for His existence that arguing against Him proves to be unproductive or useless.
Jesus is the truth and all truth comes from Him. John 14:6 (ESV) “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” Everything that Jesus said Himself or communicated through others in the Holy Scriptures is the truth and it should be defended by believers at all costs. Again, we see that the discipline of apologetics at work, Jesus defending what is true by stating that He is the truth.
Where does the definition of truth come from?
Since the human mind is imperfect, limited and at times sinful, humans can only seek truth from the source of all truth, not truth according to what humans think truth is, but truth according to what the LORD says truth is in His Holy Scriptures. Psalm 25:5 ESV says “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” Psalm 86:11 ESV says “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” Psalm 119:43 (ESV) says “And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.” Psalm 119:160 ESV says “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” We see over and over again that truth is found in the Word. It is the Word that teaches and leads us to the absolute truth of Jesus and who He claims to be.
Why does truth need to be defended?
Since the beginning of time, the enemy has been in the business of distorting the truth. It all started when Satan and his army were kicked out of heaven for wanting to be worshiped and have power that was the Lord’s alone. God’s punishment caused Satan to roam to and from the earth. Satan devised a plan to attack what God created thinking that he would be like God (all knowing, all powerful and all present). So he tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden and basically questioned God’s authority to both communicate the truth and uphold the truth. He not only questioned the truth, but used a half-truth to get Eve to also question what the LORD had already established in the garden.
The fall of humanity was the beginning of the need to defend truth and thus apologetics was essentially birthed. You see, Satan knew that what God said was the absolute truth and therefore he went about doing everything he could to destroy all form of truth, God Himself and His Word.
What does knowing and adhering to the truth do for you?
In short, knowing the truth sets you free. (John 8:32) It sets you free from sin and death. Knowing Jesus, who is the truth, saves you from eternal destruction. His gift to you is a life spent with Him, in His presence, in Heaven, for all of eternity where the truth no longer needs to be defended.
What is the cost of truth?
Truth is so costly that our Heavenly Father was willing to pay the highest price imaginable for it. He paid for it with the blood of His Son Jesus. Proverbs 23:23 ESV says “Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. In other words you want to be on the side of truth, no matter what it costs you. If our Father can pay for truth at such a high cost, then so can we. We pay for the truth by defending it, no matter how crafty Satan is at distorting it. We as believers in Jesus Christ are called to seek to know the truth and to walk along side of the truth always.
Are followers of Jesus Christ called to be involved in Apologetics?
Absolutely, Christian believers should be involved in apologetics on some level. 1 Peter 3:15 NASB says “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;”
There will always be someone who is better at defending the truth than you are. This is ok. We need to keep in mind that our job as believers is to always be seeking to know the truth and to study the truth so that we can have conversations with others about it.
The field of apologetics has grown tremendously over past couple hundred years. Entire ministries have been built on the discourse of apologetics. Some of the most well-known apologists defend truth and study it daily. Ministries like RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) and Ligonier Ministries (R.C. Sproul) just to name a few, are excellent resources for defending truth. If you get a chance, please watch the following examples of truth being defended.
John Macarthur defends the truth of God making male and female. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-HzZmvrzVE
Ravi Zacharias defends the truth about subjective moral reasoning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0218GkAGbnU
Ravi Zacharias answers the question: Why Doesn’t God Stop Evil?
Atheist Scientist Challenges Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhAxN4pCjp4
What Christian apologetic is not.
A Christian “apologetic” is not one who uses an apology (as in the way the term is normally used or as to say that you are sorry for something). An apologist is the opposite. The word “apology” is used in the sense that a person gives a defense of the Christian faith. They answer people’s questions about the truth of the Gospel and about the Word of God. From the questions of the skeptic and the believer they are able to offer an apologetic – give an answer – to the counter claims of secularism and other varying worldviews. Apologist do their best in trying to demonstrate that the claims of Jesus that are true and make sense intellectually. Apologists offer the best picture of our world and of reality according to absolute truth.
On a personal side note, as I have tried to sit and write this post on apologetics for Word Nerd Wednesday, you would not believe how many interruptions I have had. The enemy has done everything he can to distract me, to interrupt me, to discourage me, and to keep me from composing these words on the meaning of apologetics. It is my prayer that you will take away the following from this post:
Truth is worthy of being defended. It should be studied. You don’t have to be a scholar to do either. Lean in to the source of all truth and He, through His Spirit will lead you in the way of truth. Spend a little time each day seeking after Jesus and what He says is true. Never be ashamed or afraid to give a defense to anyone who asks you to give an account of the hope that is in you. Just be sure to do so with gentleness and reverence.
Hello, my name is Misty Ann. I am a daughter of the King of all Kings, wife to Richard, Mommy to Reagan (12 years), Kylee (10 years), and Karis Delaney (7 years). I am a teacher by trade, an encourager and up-lifter by calling and a writer by practice. I enjoy being a friend to those who will have me.
I understood from early adulthood and beyond that I would never fit. The Lord helped me to realize that He called me to stand out and because of this, I am forever grateful and at peace with how He has made me and who He has made me to be.
I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul. (Psalm 139:14 – The Voice)
Just A Little More About Me…..
My family and I live just outside the Austin, Texas area. I homeschool all three of my children and teach Reading for a private college in the Master’s/Credentialing program. I stay busy and enjoy the hobbies of Reading, Writing, Scrap-booking, Bible-Journaling and Running.
As a family, we attend Hill Country Bible Church. We enjoy traveling and take “family fieldtrips” often. All of life is an adventure and we are thankful for every life lesson that the Lord teaches us in the process.
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Thought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul Survival, Monday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Woman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday.