What is Apologetics and Why Should You Care?

Question

What is apologetics? Why should you care?

Answer

What is apologetics? Let's start with what it is not.

Many are not familiar with the word "apologetics" and some wonder if it has anything to do with apologizing. It's really quite the opposite. Apologetics is a branch of theology that offers a defense of Christian doctrine. It's giving answers and reasons for what we believe. Two things are essential for effective apologetics:

  1. Knowledge of facts and an ability to present the facts.
  2. An ability to give a defense when challenged.

Reasons for Hope* Jesus is a Christian apologetics ministry. It is our mission to equip Christians to fulfill the command given by the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:15.

Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

In this verse are two important words that define apologetics: answer and reason. Let's now understand what Peter commanded and why he used these two words. Then we'll address why we should care about apologetics.

The word answer in English Bibles is a translation of the Greek word apologia, from which we get the word apologetics. Strong’s Dictionary defines apologia as:

apologia, ap-ol-og-ee’-ah; from the same as G626; a plea ("apology"):–answer (for self), clearing of self, defense.

Note that, in addition to apologia being defined as answer, it is also defined as defense. So, from the word apologia, we learn that we are instructed to defend the Word of God. Simply put, we are to stand firm on the truths of the Bible and be ready to declare and defend God’s Word with facts.

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