Apologetics sounds like a term only seminary professors use or understand, yet the meaning is simpler and much more vital than most people realize. Apologetics is the field of study devoted to defending or reasoning for our faith. The Greek word apologia is used, for instance, in 1 Peter 3:15 and is translated “defense” or “answer” in English Bible versions.
Over the next three months, David Holdcraft, regional director of Ratio Christi (ratiochristi.org) in Kentucky and longtime minister, will discuss the vitality of apologetics in ministry. This month: the connection between ministry and apologetics.
If we say ministry at its core is the fulfillment of the great commandments and the Great Commission, then apologetics is indispensable to making disciples. Apologetics enables believers to fully love God with all their “heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Apologetics helps us see the fingerprints of God all over creation. As we consider the fine tuning of the universe or as we understand the implications of an absolute beginning of time, space, energy, and matter, we realize God is not only necessary, he is the amazing creator of everything that has begun to exist! Then, as we contemplate the resurrection of Christ, we marvel at what his death on the cross accomplished for us and the astounding miracle that occurred when God raised him from the dead!
Apologetics is key to fulfilling the Great Commission too. At its heart, apologetics is teaching what is true and defending the truth. Both are vital to accomplishing the mission Jesus gave us.
Next month: Why someone involved in Christian ministry should care about and have an understanding of apologetics.
—David Holdcraft, firstname.lastname@example.org