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Apologetics 101

In recent days I have had a few people take the time to challenge me about their perception that this Web site, and the content of it, are largely negative in tone. As one might expect, I take offense to such comments and would largely disagree with them. I do certainly broach topics that are controversial and may generate difficult discussions, but I do not do so from a desire to be negative or simply go have a good argument.

I consider this a site dedicated primarily to apologetics. I will define apologetics as it has been defined in the directory of Christian blogs, Blogs4God (where I am, not suprisingly, categorized in the apologetics category):

Apologetics

ap·o·lo·gia {"a-p&-`lO-j(E-)&} noun - Late Latin, 1784
: blogs that offer an intelligent defense of the historical Christian faith

Apologetics is the “intelligent defense of the historical Christian faith.” I do not claim intelligence, but I do my utmost to defend the Christian faith. The Biblical mandate for apologists is found throughout the Scripture, but the marching orders are found in Jude verse 3 reads “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Defending the faith assumes that there is something to defend it from.

If the Christian faith is all that it claims to represent- the one and only way to be reconciled with God and freed from the power of Satan - then it stands to reason that it is under constant attack. Satan will stop at nothing to destroy the faith. He is an intelligent creature and knows that it is far easier to erode the faith from within than without. By slipping wolves in among the sheep, even when these wolves are fully convinced that they are sheep, he is able to achieve far more than making a frontal assault. From this perspective it makes sense that some of the worst teachings can come from the most well-intentioned teachers. And here is where I find my interest and my gifting. I have great interest in defending the faith, especially as it is attacked from within. There are some who God has gifted in such a way that they can defend the faith against external infiltrations, such as governments and secular organizations. I find my gifting is in examining the current state of the faith and defending it from erosion from within. I love to compare the contemporary church with the historical church, and even better with the Bible, and alert others when conflicts arise.

Is apologetics inherently negative? I doubt God would say so. There may be a negative aspect to apologetics, simply because to defend is to assume that there is something to defend against, but the practice in itself is not negative. On the contrary, apologetics should help people grow in their faith as they are warned against succumbing to Satan’s infiltrations. I seek to make apologetics practical rather than abstract, uplifting rather than purely negative. If I take issue with a teaching, I seek to show the proper Biblical alternative. I know that I do not always succeed in this goal, but I do strive for it. When I fail, the community who reads this site generally lets me know, and I do appreciate their concern.

Human Nature

I would like to conclude with a brief reflection on human nature. Humans seem to be inherently critical and it is far easier for us to criticize than build up. In this regard I am the chief of sinners. However, I have seen that others are afflicted in the same way. When I write an article that is positive, that reflects joy in what God has taught me from His Word, it generally receives far less attention that those which challenge beliefs or teachers. A quick survey of the numbers of replies to various topics in the forum will prove this true. So for those who believe there is a slight negative tone to the discussions in the forums, I would encourage them to make an effort to discuss the positive and not merely the negative.