How to Do Apologetics

I have been having some interesting conversations with some fellow apologists connected with the Christian Apologetics Alliance.  A question was asked about where we need work in apologetics.  My burden is that we get back to 1 Peter 3:15, speaking to people with gentleness and respect.  Christians have to choose what role they see for apologetics.  We can be sick of critics attacking us and choose to hit back or we can have a desire to deal with questions to help real people make room for faith.  Someone in our conversation reminded me of this verse that I thought I needed to share here:

“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:5–6 ESV)

Our speech is not to be biting, devastating or attacking but rather to be gracious.  It would be worth asking for each person interested in apologetics if the thing that we have just said is indeed gracious.

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2 thoughts on “How to Do Apologetics”

  1. I think that verse in 1 Peter goes deeper than just our attitude. He assumes that believers’ lives will be sufficiently different from the norm to attract attention, positive or negative. That attention then becomes the opportunity to speak of Christ. I find it interesting that, if you look at Peter’s speeches in Acts, they tend to grow out of events that need explaining (pentecost, the healing of the man by the gate, etc.) unlike Paul’s which are more typically in the framework of disputation. I think Peter is sharing something of his own philosophy of ministry here. Is it possible that, given Christianity’s current status of suspicion in the culture, we are called to lean more towards Peter’s approach than Paul’s?

  2. Great observations Robin. As for your question, I am not sure there are any easy answers. I think both apostles were able to read their context and respond accordingly. There is definitely a plurality of method in the NT and we should not feel locked into the one way we have always presented the Gospel.

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