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Apologetics and Polemics

The word apologetics comes from the Greek word "apologia". It does not have anything to do with apologizing but instead giving an answer to error.

It means to defend a person or a position by providing evidence for the truth. The key scripture is found in I Peter 3:15: "Always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give reason for the hope that you have." An apologist is one who "argues the case" before those who think contrary to correct their wrong, their error in believing what is false by what is true. The Apostle Paul did this on Mars Hill (Acts 17) he also defended Christianity before King Agrippa who came close to being persuaded to become a Christian (Acts 26).

The goal of learning apologetics is to be more effective in our evangelism. The hope of the apologist is to convince the unbeliever of the truth of Christianity so the unbeliever will change his own mind and become a believer. Or in polemics, if someone who is a believer has accepted error to be corrected

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

Isa 1:17-19 Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow."Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;

Christian apologetics involves the discussion or debate of all subjects, such as the existence of God contrary to atheism, creationism versus evolution, the truth of the Bible, the deity or resurrection. We can appeal to history or cite the findings of archeology, manuscript evidence, prophecy or appeal to logic and reason and cite a variety of philosophical arguments to demonstrate the existence of God. Even present internal evidence such as the changed behavior of the those who believe to show the truth of the resurrection.

The study of apologetics is found in Christian history, it has been the backbone in defending the Christian faith in the beginning of the churches history being in Rome. It is an integral part of theological education because it involves the mind and how to think contrary to falsehood. In modern times when it is most needed, with the rise of science, post modernism, relativism and new ageism, apologetics has fallen on hard times. What was once defended vigorously outside the church has now made itself at home inside. Today we are confronted with alleged competing religious truth-claims not only from outside found in other religions but inside the church as taught and practiced as truth.


 Greek polemikos warlike, hostile, from polemos war; perhaps akin to Greek pelemizein to shake, 1 a : an aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of another b: the art or practice of disputation or controversy —usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction. We see polemics being used by Paul who scolded the church to expose and remove the false teachers and strive to keep the unity of the faith.

Today the Christian Gospel is considered one truth among many "truths" that people nowadays can choose from. How do we present the Gospel in the current age of relativism?

Questions that are not properly answered do not go away. The church has done a poor job explaining the Bible and upholding its teachings in our post- modern age.

Many have become discouraged and disillusioned about the way they thought the church should be, so it motivated them to look elsewhere. To pursue their spiritual path by other means, while holding on to some semblance of Christian teaching, they have essentially made their own religion.

To give an example those who claim Christianity but deny its essentials, is Emergent church teacher Brian McLaren who was named by time Mag as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals. In his book A Generous Orthodoxy:He states not all people need to be Christians to follow Jesus. Some may be able to be “Buddhist or Hindu followers of Jesus.” He also states that, “God is interested in not only saving us from consequences after this life but in saving us from injustice, oppression, greed, and war, in this life.”

He ignores that Jesus said to deny ourself to follow him, which would include a former religious persuasion. God never said he came to same us from anything else but our sins. injustice, oppression, greed, and war will be dealt with when he rules over mankind

In his interview with Christianity Today “ I don't think we've got the gospel right yet. What does it mean to be 'saved'? When I read the Bible, I don't see it meaning, 'I'm going to heaven after I die.' Before modern evangelicalism nobody accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, or walked down an aisle, or said the sinner's prayer."

He has taken some miniscule observations to make them his platform. To say we don’t have the gospel right (yet) and he does not see the meaning does not give much hope to anyone, not even him.

The fact is that one must have understanding of the gospel to be saved, and that means they deal with their sin by coming to saviors actions of dying for their sin.

McLaren is indicative of the new kind of Christian not only who is post modern but post biblical, a staunch critic of God and his Word. Ps 119: 89: Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven.” Jesus made it clear John 12:48 " He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”

Too many of the liberal, emergent leaders challenge the Bible and in doing so, challenge who God is. They are unable to make disciples, because they are not one. They refuse to follow him only. They cannot teach anyone all that Jesus taught, but can only replace it with their own doubts and insecurities. They are making you into an agnostic church goer that is unsure of anything said in the Scripture. The Jesus seminar would be jealous.

Jn.14:23: “ If anyone loves me he will keep my word.” This is his commandment to show our devotion to him. One cannot keep it if they doubt and question its validity. On the other hand in v.24 “ He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.”

Christianity centers on a person. Reject Christ and you have no gospel all you have left is substitutes.

The way of man is trying to reach God the gospel is God reaching man. Religion is operated by the flesh only those who believe the Gospel receive the Spirit and can have understanding. Only they can operate in God's ways and by his grace.



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