Sunday, September 4, 2011


History of Apologetics

After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, the apostles and their followers were left to evangelize an unwitting and uncaring world. Jesus gave the command, “Go ye therefore into all the world”, so they had no choice. The interesting thing is, when one studies the gospels, Jesus didn’t travel the world preaching and teaching. The creator of the universe didn’t choose to evangelize everyone Himself; but He left it to His disciples. They were the ones tasked with taking this gospel into the world and explaining what and why someone should believe in the Risen Christ; which of course was no small task.

When we look at the gospels themselves, we see different writers giving information to different people groups, largely in styles and languages they would be more likely to understand. The gospel of Matthew is written to the Jews. He starts with Jesus’ genealogy, which is very important to the Jewish people because why else should they ever believe in this Messiah.

The Book of Mark is written to the Romans. It is the shortest of the gospels, which is exactly what the Romans would want; short and to the point. They did not want someone going on and on about one particular subject, just give us the meat.

Luke, being a physician, would write his gospel mainly to the Gentiles. He specifically states that his gospel account is through strict and careful research of the Messiah, making sure what he penned would stand up to scrutiny and would certainly line up historically.

John’s gospel would appeal to all believers and would tell the story of Christ through the eyes of someone who had a deep love relationship with the Lamb of God.

The Apostle Peter would be tasked with taking the Gospel of Christ to unbelieving Jews; and the Apostle Paul would be given very specific orders by Jesus Himself to take the gospel to the gentiles; up to and including Rome, and his execution under Nero.

Presuppositional Apologetics (My Preferred Method)

I have to say that I’ve never really given much thought to my particular method of “witnessing” or apologetics. Obviously in taking this class that changes. In our reading, as I came across the Presuppositional approach, I knew immediately that it is my preferred style. It’s been said that God does not believe in atheists, and neither do I. The Apostle Paul in Romans 1 states that the knowledge of God is manifest in ALL men, and they are without excuse. I believe that to the very bottom of my heart.

I myself am an example of someone who at one time was trying to run from God, and tried to act as if He didn’t exist. Back in the 80’s, I was in the Marine Corps. I was going on a ship with my squadron for six months to the Mediterranean Sea, and knew that I would have a lot of down time while on board. A few guys I knew started to talk to me about going to a bible study they were having in the evenings and invited me to join them. I knew two things; I didn’t have much else to do, and I didn’t like Christians. So I agreed with the idea that I would learn as much about the bible as I could, so I could twist it around and use it against the very same folks who had invited me.

Of course, long story short, here I am writing a paper about Christian Apologetics, so God still has a sense of humor. But the point is, I just wanted to live my life and do what I wanted, so I just tried to ignore the idea that there actually was a God so I wouldn’t have to deal with Him. I truly believe most people are like this. I sincerely do not believe that people walk around every day on this planet and truly feel in their heart that there is no God. Everything in creation screams that there is; I knew that when I was going to the bible study.

With all that said, when it comes to speaking with someone in my realm of influence, I just plow right through with what I believe God wants me to say to that particular person at that particular time. I’m a salesman, and if there’s one thing I know about sales, objections mean the person you’re speaking with is still interested. If your potential client is not saying a word, you’re dead in the water, because they’re no longer interested. I’ve never seen that with a potential convert. They just keep talking and asking questions; objecting and looking for answers. I have to say, when they come up with an objection, I make sure to answer it to the best of my ability; but I do so with the idea that they don’t “really” believe there’s no God.

I truly believe this; everyone knows there is a God. They’re desperate to find out who He is; I know I was, even though I never wanted to admit it. They don’t want to look like fools and they don’t want to get caught believing in fairy tales. They just want to know that it’s true, and they just want to know how to know Him and to know that He’s not going to hurt them like so many others in their life have.

I didn’t know it before reading it this week, but Presuppositional Apologetics is what I have been engaged in most of my Christian life, and is definitely my preferred method.

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