Updated: Apr 10
Welcome to the advanced apologetics series. In this series of articles, we give a rational defense of Christianity’s theological fundamentals and doctrine, in order to provide a peaceful worldview and to enable missions and evangelism to flourish.
We are doing this series to defend our faith in this generation (not just among friends but also in our hostile society). This forthcoming series of articles will summarize the reasons we use for defending the Faith. Although I want to ensure that the series is concise and readable, the articles will be detailed and technical. So, they probably require some time and meditation. These should hopefully serve as rationale to even be of use in the courtroom. However, these are not a substitute for legal advice and should be reviewed by a trusted lawyer.
Lots of people in this generation have an interest in apologetics (a rational defense of one’s beliefs against attack), unfortunately for general misguided reasons. Recently, two youtube apologists left evangelicalism because their apologetic arguments could not sustain their faith. But I don’t believe that is what apologetics is supposed to do. The real use of apologetics has long been forgotten in an age where we need this tool more than ever.
Now let's understand a few terms.
Evangelism: the good news of Jesus Christ towards faith (This faith is spiritual and brings faith to the heart, not just the mind)
Religion: a combination of faith and piety, as one who is in covenant with their only Lord
Missionary work: the introduction of a religious way of life
Dogma: the religious doctrines of the church
Theology: the study of the doctrines of God
Systematic Theology: the teaching of God in a logical format
Biblical theology: a philosophy of biblical doctrine
Fundamentals: dogmas essential for theology
Apologetics: a rational defense of one’s beliefs, against attack
I believe most evangelicals confuse these ideas and become ineffective by doing so. Apologetics is not meant to be evangelism, because defending yourself is not an invitation to others. Apologetics is also not religion: defending the faith is not practicing the faith.
Systematic theology can help apologetics, but it is not necessarily dogma, because dogma assumes there is already a relationship. Missionary work seems different from dogma because that work will focus on religious actions and lifestyle, while dogma will focus on religious belief. Of course, these topics combine and are linked to the same Faith. But sometimes understanding the different functions will be helpful.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but [it is] the honor of kings to search out a matter