A Brief Biblical Case for Apologetics


I was recently asked for a list of memory verses relating to apologetics. Deciding which ones to keep and which to exclude turned out to be quite a challenge. Ultimately, I decided to list them topically in a way that laid out the case for apologetics, with examples, as briefly as possible. Obviously there are more I could have included, but I didn’t want this to get any longer than it already is! If you have a favorite passage that teaches or supports apologetics, feel free to add it in the comments.

 

What is apologetics, and how should we do it?

  • Be prepared to explain your beliefs

    Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…  – 1 Peter 3:15  (NIV)

  • Pick your battles, but don’t avoid conflict

    Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. – 2 Timothy 2:23-24

 

Why should we do apologetics?

  • At its root, Christianity is about truth, not feelings

    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.  Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. – 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

  • Paul repeatedly said to

    …contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. – Jude 1:3

    holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. – Titus 1:9

  • Christianity involves training

    ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ – Matthew 28:19

Note:  KJV says “go and teach…” Strong academic focus. Greek word for Disciple (Strong’s 3100) means, “intransitively to become a pupil; transitively to disciple, that is, enroll as scholar: – be disciple, instruct, teach.”

  • Being prepared protects the believer

    “that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” – Ephesians 4:14

  • It protects our fellow believers

    …preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. – 2 Timothy 4:2-4

  • To persuade the unbeliever

    Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. – Colossians 4:5-6

 

Examples of apologetics in the bible

  • Jesus used evidence to assure John the Baptist that he was the Messiah

    Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” – Matthew 11:2-6

  • Apologetic reasoning was Paul’s primary method

    And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” – Acts 17:2-3

  • John wrote his gospel as an apologetic/proof of Christianity

    Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:30-31

  • The reason for Paul’s imprisonment

    “…I am put here for the defense of the gospel.” – Philippians 1:16

 

The importance of the life of the mind

  • Christians are to be concerned with the life of the mind

    ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ – Mark 12:30

  • The renewal of the mind

    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2

  • The battlefield of the mind

    We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ – 2 Corinthians 10:5