Apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith using evidence, reason, and logic.
How should apologetic arguments be most effectively delivered? How should this defense of the Christian faith be made?
The manner in which an argument is made can make all the difference in the world in its reception. A logically perfect argument can be undermined by pride, arrogance, and lack of empathy. The attitude of the speaker can prevent the listener from hearing, understanding, and absorbing the truth of the speaker’s words.
The Apostle Peter instructs believers, in the face of persecution, to be prepared to explain why their faith in Christ gives them a confident hope for the future. And he tells them how to deliver these explanations.
Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, 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. (1 Peter 3:13-15 NASB)
Peter commands believers to make their reasoned defense with “gentleness and reverence.”
Peter instructs believers to be winsome ambassadors for Christ who speak gently with compassion and respect.
The Apostle Paul says, “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) An ambassador speaks with grace, attempting to win over his hearer through winsome persuasion. Paul instructs,
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:5-6)
Paul says these characteristics should be evident in the believer’s life: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galations 5:22-23) These should characterize our attitude in delivering apologetic arguments.
Apologetics should be part of every Christian’s regular diet (intake) and regular testimony (output). To diminish doubt and foster faith, research questions and learn the answers developed by generations of thoughtful apologists. When attacked for faith, reply with calm, logical reasoning. Win over your hearers through your loving, respectful, and patient approach.
Questions to Ponder
- What unprofitable attitude do you have the most trouble quelling when doing apologetics?
- What attitude do you find most persuasive when someone is trying to convince you of something?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
See other articles I’ve written on Apologetics.
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday October 22, 2014 A.D.
But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 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.
(1 Peter 3:14-15)