Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 20, 2019

Peter Does Apologetics

(3 Minute Read)

Peter was a rough-and-tumble fisherman, a bold leader, and one of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples. Did you know he was also a deep thinker skilled in apologetics?

Apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith using evidence, reason, and logic. In Scripture the Apostle Peter instructs disciples of Jesus to give reasons for their faith in Christ. Peter also vividly demonstrates how to do apologetics.

In Peter’s first epistle he told believers to always be ready to defend the faith whenever asked:
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)

The Apostle Peter was realistic about the inevitability of opposition and ridicule:
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. (2 Peter 2:1)
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4)

How did Peter refute naysayers? How did he answer false prophets and mockers who denied the Christian faith?

Peter took a four-fold approach to defending the Christian faith against opponents. He pointed to Creation, to personal experience, to the Resurrection, and to the miracles of Jesus.

In Peter’s Pentecost sermon he appealed to the miracles, signs, and wonders that his hearers knew to be true of Jesus based on their own personal experience with Jesus. The fact that he did this demonstrates credibility, for if his appeals were false, many people listening to him could have instantly disputed his claims.
“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.” (Acts 2:22)

Peter appealed to the Resurrection of Jesus as proof that Jesus of Nazareth was both God (Lord) and Savior (Christ):
This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. . . . This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. . . . Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified. (Acts 2:23-24,32,36)

Biblical apologists should be skilled and
conversant in multiple arenas of argument
— just like the Apostle Peter.

In Peter’s second epistle, he testified of his own personal experience with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 16:28-17:8). He personally saw Jesus glorified and endorsed by God from heaven. This testimony of a personal historical event provides a reason for faith.
For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased” — and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. (2 Peter 1:16-18)

Peter also disputed mockers with an appeal to Creation and the Flood:
For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. (2 Peter 3:5-6)

A Biblical apologist needs to be skilled and conversant in multiple arenas of argument — just like the Apostle Peter. Can you figure out the pertinent advice for apologists that this Rebus puzzle represents? Try to solve the puzzle before you look at the answer below.

Peter’s example is instructive for Christian apologists today. These are all valuable tools to use in defending the Christian faith:
Personal testimony
Wonders of Creation / Evidence of Design – Who made this? From where did it come?
Miracles of Jesus

Make sure you are ready to use them as appropriate when opportunities arise.

Questions to Ponder

1. What one sentence can you have ready “in your pocket” to testify of Jesus, “This happened to me!” ?
2. What arguments in defense of truth do you prefer for influencing a present-day skeptic?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Rebus Puzzle Answer: Jack of all trades.
[Jack+cuff awl tray+ds]
(Click Rebus Puzzles for links to blog articles with a Rebus puzzle.)

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the second post in the series on Apologists in the Bible.
Read the prequel:
1. Elijah Does Apologetics

Read the sequel:
3. Paul Does Apologetics

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday March 20, 2019 A.D.

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:11)

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