We have not written much lately on apologetics. We will eventually get back to regularly publishing on the subject, but right now with so many other topics being discussed I want to finish up some of them so I can focus on the next series. Until this happens spend some time looking at the apologetics archives (click here for access). However, something has been on my mind that I want to share with you all.
The goal of apologetics is not to win an argument. Instead it is to “give an answer.” Apologetics is there to explain why what we believe and do is reasonable. Ultimately you hope that through this explanation the individual or group to whom you are addressing will consider the explanation with an open mind.
So what is the best apologetic? There are a lot of apologetic arguments that I like. I have my favorite for explaining the existence of God. I have a way in which I think we can reasonable explain the resurrection. I am confident that the there are appropriate reasons for trusting the Bible. However, I do not think any of these are the best apologetic.
The best apologetic is still the Christian life lived. In fact when we read 1 Peter 3:15 in context we see that the occasion for “giving an answer to those who ask” is us living the Christian life. Specifically, it is us taking seriously the command to do what is right even as we are suffering. This speaks volumes to the truthfulness of our faith.
In the Old Testament Israel was told to be a light to the nations. The way they lived and practiced holiness would be an apologetic to the world around them of what God’s reign looks like among a people. The church today is called to also be a faithful witness. We are supposed to submit ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus and show the world around us what it would look like if God reigned. We would be known by our self-sacrifice, our love, our holiness, our service to others, and our commitment to God.
As individuals we are called to be “holy as I am holy.” This is a charge to apply the word of God to our lives and live it out. It is a call against hypocrisy (possible the biggest reason given for people’s rejection of the Christian faith). Our lives should be characterized by godliness. We should exhibit love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5).
The words of Jesus still ring true today. They will know we are Christians by our love. I think we all should learn the explanations for our faith, but let us not forget that most people are going to learn about Christianity from our lives.