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Defending your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics

If you have never heard this word before, don't worry this blog post will tackle common questions and cover some doubts and issues when it comes to apologetics. The word itself tends to be intimidating to some people, giving the impression that apologetics is something difficult to understand and that this sort of knowledge is unreachable.


What is Apologetics?

The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense. In ancient Athens it referred to a defense made in the courtroom as part of the normal judicial procedure. After the accusation, the defendant was allowed to refute the charges with a defense — apologia.


Christian apologetics, therefore, involves making a case (or defense) for the truth of the Christian faith. This isn’t just the job of philosophers, pastors and speakers, etc. As Christians, we are all called to defend our faith.

  • Why do we believe what we believe?

  • How do we deal with the many questions about Jesus, God, the Christian faith?

  • What answers can we give to those who doubt or don't believe at all?

  • Are we shocked when people question the very foundation of our faith?

  • Are we able to defend our faith?

If you were not able to answer some of these question, there's no need to beat yourself up for it. The fact of you reading this, shows that there's a spark of interested in learning more.


Why is Apologetics important?

The word apologetics appears quite a few times in the Bible. One of the most known verses that describes or explains the meaning/definition of Christian Apologetics is — 1 Peter 3:15


"...but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,"


When we talk about Christian Apologetics this includes studying specific subjects as Biblical manuscript transmission, philosophy, biology, mathematics, evolution, logic and much more. "does that mean I have to read a ton of books?" For some people, it doesn't seem necessary. Nevertheless, some questions will an require extensive amount of information and knowledge; reason why It's highly recommendable to read, study and do research.


Now, what is of extreme importance, is to first be rooted in the word of God before diving into complex Christian Apologetic Arguments.


"I don't need apologetics"

The truth is that we are all called to make a defense of the Christian faith. Something delicate to understand is that Apologetics can be both, defensive and offensive. We can and should defend our reasons for believing. However, when "attacking" teachings or accusations that oppose Christianity this should be done with wisdom & gentleness — it is not right to attack the person, because "when the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers." — and this is one of the reasons on why the Bible specifies to always be prepared beforehand.


it's not prideful to stand firm & bold in the truth of God's word.

"...For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah." — Acts 18:28


Common Questions & Issues

There are many questions that people bring up about Christianity, some with the purpose of challenging one's religion, and others with honest questions, doubts or issues. However, this does not take from the fact that as Christians we must be ready to have an answer.


— what if I don't know the answer? Good question. This could happen, and the truth is that it's difficult to cover every single question BUT what is possible is to start by learning the most common questions & issues.


— so, where do I even start? At first, it could be mind boggling; that's why below there's a list divided by categories with some of the most asked/controversial questions about Christianity. Begin by researching a topic you find interesting, and also the questions that people have brought up to you in the past.


Existence & Nature of God

  • Why would a good God allow evil to exist?

  • How can a loving God send people to hell?

  • Why would God need people to worship Him (isn’t that egotistical and arrogant)?

  • Jesus is not God

  • Jesus was ONLY a prophet

  • God does not exist

  • The Bible doesn't mention the Trinity

  • Why doesn't God show Himself to everyone so they will believe?

  • Did God create evil?

Truths & World-views

  • Isn’t hell an unreasonable punishment for not believing in a specific set of truth claims?

  • What makes Christians think their personal religious experiences with God are any more “true” than those of adherents to other belief systems?

  • Do all religions ultimately point to the same God? Why or why not?

  • What are key similarities and differences between the world’s major religions (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism)?

  • Where does morality come from?

Questions about Jesus

  • What major Old Testament prophecies did Jesus fulfill?

  • What extra-biblical evidence is there that Jesus existed (as a historical person)?

  • What are the key passages in the Bible that show Jesus claimed to be God?

  • Why did Jesus have to die? Couldn't God just forgive us and forget it?

  • What are the main theories non-believers have about the resurrection (e.g., unknown tomb, wrong tomb, disciples stole the body, authorities hid the body, etc.)?

  • Why does it matter whether or not Jesus was resurrected (and that the resurrection wasn’t simply a metaphor)?

Questions about the Bible

  • Who selected what books are in the Bible?

  • Why were some "books" left out of the Bible?

  • How can we know that the Bible we have today is a reliable record of the original writings?

  • "The Bible has contradictions" (and what are the explanations)?

  • The Bible is not the word of God - it was just written by some men.

  • The book of Genesis are pure fiction

  • The Bible is not reliable

  • Does the Bible support slavery?

  • What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

  • "The Bible is NOT reliable" – it was written by man

Science & Christianity

  • What is Young Earth Creationism (YEC)?

  • What is Old Earth Creationism (OEC)?

  • What are major methods scientists use to estimate the age of the earth, and what is their consensus on the estimate?

  • What is the relationship between belief in a global flood and the age of the earth?

  • What is Intelligent Design?

  • What does it mean that the universe appears to be finely tuned?

  • What is evolution (from a purely scientific perspective)?

  • What are the key questions evolution has not answered?

  • "macroevolution" vs. "microevolution"?

  • Why do evolutionists reject the theory of intelligent design?

  • What are the theological implications specifically for Adam and Eve not being literal, historical people?

Other

  • Why would Jesus-loving, Bible-believing Christians differ on their view of origins?

  • How can Christians believe miracles are possible, given what we know about science (e.g., the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection)?

  • If Christianity is true, why are there so many Christians whose lives look no different than those of non-believers (aren’t many Christians hypocrites)?

  • What happens to people who have never heard the Gospel?

  • Why are there so many denominations?

  • Why don’t miracles happen as frequently today as they did in the Bible?


Ultimately, when defending the faith, it is necessary to stay in prayer. It is the Lord who opens the heart and mind. This isn't about "winning an argument" for the sake of one's pride; but to reach the person.


In addition, it's good to always keep in mind that all our well-prepared arguments, intellectual abilities, wisdom is not what "saves people" the purpose is to preach the Gospel and being able to defend the faith. In the end, we plant the seed, water it but only God is who gives growth. — 1 Corinthians 3:6-9

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