33 Reasons Why We Need Apologetics
I’ve written a bunch about what Apologetics is - a rational defense of the Christian faith - and what it all involves. But the “What” of Apologetics doesn’t matter if there are no reasons why we should use Apologetics or even have it on our minds. To show its importance on our daily lives as Christians, I created a list of 33 reasons explaining why we need Apologetics.
I placed the reasons into categories for easy reading, and sorted the categories into alphabetical order.
1. It prompts deeper discussion between Christians. It's simple - Apologetics topics drive deep discussion. This discussion starts to change the shallow habits of some Christian circles.
2. It eases tension between Christians with different views. When you understand the array of views Christians can reasonably hold, you become more open to accepting a Christian who holds a different view on a specific topic.
3. It unifies people from various Christian denominations. The defense of God's existence and the evidence behind Jesus' life crosses all Christian denominations - no Christian is excluded from the Apologetics enterprise.
4. It provides opportunities to encourage other Christians. A community of Christians can come together and ask tough questions, talk through them, and encourage each other to use what they've learned in daily life. This kind of encouragement happens all the time in podcasts like Stand to Reason.
5. We can use it to break down intellectual barriers to the gospel. Many people won't instantly accept Jesus into their life after hearing the gospel. They may have questions or objections that hold them back from doing so. Apologetics starts the process of tearing down these intellectual barriers.
6. We can use it to better connect with people that have passions different than ours. For example, by diving into Apologetics topics related to science, you can have a deep conversation with a scientist (say, about the origin of the Universe) even when science isn't your top passion.
7. It helps us to better understand another person's perspective. When someone stars explaining a viewpoint we’ve already heard through Apologetics study, we can better understand how the person arrived to that viewpoint.
8. It gives us greater empathy towards people with other views. When we wrestle through Apologetics topics and understand the difficulty of that process, it helps us identify emotionally with people who have wrestled through the same topics and came to different conclusions.
9. When we use it, we carry on the work of Christian thinkers living throughout the centuries. There is a long list of Christians defending the truth of God through the ages - St. Augustine, Blaise Pascal, and C.S. Lewis instantly come to mind.
10. We can use it to reach people who are naturally skeptical. Sometimes, Apologetics-based discussion is the only kind of spiritual discussion a skeptic will be open to.
11. It prepares us for questions about faith people may ask. Many Christians shy away from evangelism because they're afraid of the questions that might be asked. Apologetics eases this anxiety by increasing our confidence in answering the questions others have.
12. It gives us a well-rounded understanding of our faith. Apologetics doesn't just hyper-focus on specific issues like the trinity, divine providence, or the applicability of Old Testament laws. Through Apologetics, we can explore and understand a wide range of elements of our faith.
13. It helps us wrestle through intellectual doubts. Doubts aren't a bad thing to go through, but unanswered intellectual doubts can debilitate our faith over time. Apologetics provides the resources needed to wrestle through our intellectual doubts.
14. It grounds the faith of young people and new believers. This grounding is hugely important as young people enter a skeptical academic environment and new believers encounter new challenges.
15. It provides a foundation of truth to hold onto during difficult times in life. When difficult circumstances carry the potential to turn us away from God, we can instead turn to Apologetics and cling to the truth about God.
16. It keeps our guard up. When we consistently immerse ourselves into Apologetics content, we prepare ourselves for sudden and unexpected intellectual challenges that come our way - challenges which could easily put us into a "crisis of faith".
17. It exercises our mind. Reading books exercises our mind and thinking ability the most, and book reading is plentiful in Apologetics study.
18. It connects some of the main areas of thinking together. Philosophy, science, history, and theology become an interwoven venture rather than separated subjects.
19. It prompts us to be life-long learners. There is always more Apologetics content to learn, which leads us to yearn for a life of gaining knowledge and wisdom.
20. It informs our voting decisions. Studying ethical issues helps us decide where to stand on key election topics.
21. Sharing it builds up various skills. Sharing through blogs develops writing skill, sharing verbally shapes public speaking skill, and sharing through video builds production skill. My own graphic design skills have increased greatly from sharing Apologetics content on Instagram.
22. It causes us to check our biases. People tend to listen only to data which affirms their own beliefs - this is a well known phenomenon called confirmation bias. Apologetics prompts us to reflect on our biases and push against confirmation bias when we dig into views which oppose our beliefs.
23. It helps us to recognize the false ideas in our culture. Recognizing these false ideas is key to ensure we don't start to follow those ideas and suffer from their damaging consequences.
24. It teaches us basic logic and formation of arguments. We can understand and assess arguments more effectively and identify logical fallacies in other people's thinking.
25. Scripture commands us to use it. Paul says in 1 Peter 3:15 - "Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you." Apologetics gets us prepared to make this defense.
27. It allows us to follow the example of the earliest Christians. They used Apologetics to affirm God's existence by pointing to the events of Jesus resurrection - see especially Acts 2:29-33.
28. It shows us the importance of the events of Jesus' life. What did Jesus' sacrifice accomplish? Why does it matter that he rose from the dead? Apologetics provides answers to these key questions.
29. It coincides with reading scripture correctly. Apologetics helps us to read Bible passages in proper context, through understanding of the historical background behind the passage and through the idea that we can’t just read one Bible verse (we need to read the verses around it to gather the flow of thought).
30. It can deepen our relationship with God. When you’re in a relationship with someone, knowing more about that person can take that relationship deeper. The same goes with our relationship with God as we learn things about him through Apologetics!
31. It gives us a greater sense of awe towards God. When we can acknowledge true things about God and see his power more through Apologetics content (on topics like miracles), our sense of awe towards him increases.
32. It puts us in a position where we need to trust God. We don't know results of using Apologetics in conversations with others. We also don't know what path our investigation of truth will lead us down. We need to trust in God through these unknowns.
33. It brings us to a place of humility. The more we study Apologetics, the more we realize there is much we don't know. At some point, humility is needed to accept we won't have all the answers, which opens up opportunity for faith.
This list is not exhaustive - I’m probably missing some reasons in it. But the list is sufficient to show that Christians truly need Apologetics in their daily lives.