Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 30, 2011

Apologetics in Church 

Christians are sent into the world today without the proper tools needed to defend their faith in the arenas of popular philosophy and in the marketplace of ideas. Even worse, they don’t have the weapons of intellectual confrontation needed to conquer the culture for Christ.

Are you prepared to “destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ“? (2 Corinthians 10:5)

What is the solution?
Churches should integrate training in Apologetics throughout the teaching ministry of the church. Church-based apologetics training is essential.

The lack of training in Apologetics is one of the most serious failures of the Christian church in America today. People leave the church because true Biblical answers are not given to genuine questions. People fail to become fruitful disciples because their “big questions” are never answered.

What is Apologetics?
Very simply, Apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith using logic, reason, and evidence.

Apologetics is the Biblically-assigned responsibility of every Christian (1 Peter 3:15).

Apologetics in Church?
– New members classes should have a significant component on Apologetics.
– Parenting classes should include Apologetics.
– Children’s classes and Bible clubs should cover Apologetics at the appropriate level.
– Youth classes should run fascinating Apologetics classes on all the common questions that trouble young people. They should feature guest speakers and live debates on the issues.
– Adult classes should regularly address Apologetics and Philosophy.
– Pastors should regularly preach and teach on Philosophy and Apologetics. Most sermons emphasize “comfort” instead of challenging Christians to apply themselves mentally to the big issues of our time.

The church needs to train people how to think about the great philosophical issues of the day. In our day the 3 big issues are:
– Creation vs. Evolution,
– How can a good God allow evil and suffering?
– Relativism vs. Absolute Truth

Christians need to be taught how to think about the evidence adduced to support the various positions on the issues. Both sides always have the same evidence. The key is how the evidence is interpreted, and this is determined by one’s world view. Thus worldview training, that is philosophical training, is an essential part of apologetics education.

For example, both sides have the same fossils. What you think the fossils “say” is determined by your worldview. Do you start with the Bible as God’s Word and interpret what you find in the world based on the truth revealed in the Bible? Or do you start with a naturalistic perspective that maintains everything must be explained naturalistically? Everyone “starts” somewhere; everyone has a bias. There is no such thing as an unbiased objective interpreter of evidence. The key is whether you are biased with the right bias or not.

Test yourself to see if you are adequately trained and prepared to defend your faith as the Apostle Peter commands. Can you give a cogent answer to the following questions? Can you refute these common claims?
– Could God have used evolution to create the world?
– The Six Days of Creation represent long eons of time.
– Adam, Eve, and the serpent are metaphorical. The Garden of Eden story is just a mythical allegory.
– Fossils, DNA, and radiometric dating prove evolution.
– How can a good God allow evil and suffering?
– There is no such thing as absolute truth. What’s important is what’s true for you.

If you cannot correct these misguided theses by making a reasonable case for your positions and cannot answer these questions intelligently, then you need to train yourself in Apologetics — because most likely your church is not doing the job. Begin with an issue or question that interests you or one on which a friend has challenged you. Look it up on the web. There are hundreds of good apologetics resources available.

Soli Deo Gloria.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Saturday April 30, 2011 A.D.

Read my April 2011 Bible-Science column
Is There Alien Life in Space?.

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. (1 Peter 3:15)

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