By Zack DeBerry
As we talk about why we can trust the Bible, it is important to know that much of history is written about in the texts of the Bible. However, just as much that is revealed in the text, there are still many things that are open to interpretation. It is in this interpretation that some people may be led to believe things that aren’t always true. Whether they get their information from the latest Bible series on network television or just trust the first blog that appears after a Google search, people will always have questions about the things that aren’t addressed in the Bible.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to always be ready to give an answer as to why we believe what we believe. We see this in 1 Peter 3:15 where Peter writes, “And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” What Peter is referring to here is a word we call Apologetics.
Apologetics is a term that can take on a life of its own at times, but essentially Apologetics is defined as a reason or reasons why you believe what you believe. That’s what Peter urges all of us to do in the above verse. Some folks may think that Apologetics are best left to the “Professional Christians,” but it’s my belief that we should ALL know what Apologetics means and why it should be important.
Here are a few reasons why I think Apologetics should matter to us ALL:
1. People Have Questions
This should be motivation enough for us to care about Apologetics and be ready to give a reason for why we believe and have the hope that we do in Jesus. I know that it can be daunting to feel like you have to have an answer for every question. The truth is that you may not have all the facts and information about a literal 6 day creation theory, but you should be able to tell someone WHY you believe what you do. That is the first step in helping answer someone’s question. Give them a reason to continue to seek the answers they need. Tell them why you believe.
2. Bad Information is Everywhere.
It’s cool to see that Bible stories and themes have made it into mainstream media, but we must make sure that we realize there could be some creative liberties taken at times. As a follower of Jesus Christ, we must have enough knowledge of Biblical events to be able to offer correction where it is needed when Hollywood gets it wrong. There are many people who will trust what they see on television or read in a book as the truth, even when it isn’t factually correct. When we take Apologetics seriously it allows us to enter into conversations that are created by various entertainment outlets and present the truth of the Gospel.
3. The Future
Apologetics isn’t just for you, it’s for the future. What I mean by that is, as a father of 3 children my kids need me to know why I believe and to be able to answer questions that they have about faith as they come up. We must take ownership for how our families view the Bible and the world. Caring about Apologetics means that I care enough to be ready to give an answer when the questions come, and they will come.
These are just a few of the reasons why I care about Apologetics and think it’s important for everyone. Ultimately, we must be ready to provide answers when questions arise. 1 Peter 3:15 gives us an all call to become Apologists, but I think it is important to read the first few words of verse 16 as well. Peter goes on to say this: “But do this in a gentle and respectful way.” This may be the most important piece of advice when it comes to Apologetics.
Our job is not to convince everyone by drawing lines in the sand, but to be ready to give them our WHY. When we move Apologetics from telling our stories and reasons to creating a staunch defense we will lose the intent of what Peter calls us to do.