What is the relationship of apologetics and discipleship? Many believers falsely thought in the past that apologetics had no use in the area of discipleship. They thought discipleship is just sharing the gospel, that’s all. I don’t think so. Even during the time of Jesus and the apostles they were already incorporating apologetics in the way they explain the gospel. Remember, apologetics has been understood as the art of defending the gospel from those who question its veracity. The apostle Paul has been defending the gospel in the midst of many religious and government leaders. This is due to the fact that he is accused of spreading false news about Jesus Christ whom he personally believed was raised from the dead. And since the Sadducees don’t believed in the teaching about resurrection, Paul had to explain to them that Jesus Christ rose from the grave because he personally encountered Him on his way to Damascus.
This is apologetics.
Giving them a reason why we believed what we believed from the Scriptures. Telling them why we believed Christianity is more plausible than atheism, the world religions, and the rest of the religious cults out there. It is impossible not to incorporate apologetics in discipleship once the person you are engaging started to question your belief. Tell me, how are you going to answer when he asked the following?
Why do you believed in the Trinity?
Why the need for a second birth?
Why do you believed Jesus is God?
What does James mean by faith without works is dead?
Why do you believed the Bible is inerrant and infallible?
Where do people go when they die?
Is there a chance for tribal people to know Christ?
What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
Is hell a literal place?
Is Christianity the only one true religion?
There are probably more sincere questions than valid answers. I am not saying that you are going to be able to answer all these things immediately. But this will surely encourage you to study and understand the Bible more to make your response doctrinally cohesive. As we answer the questions of these people, it sends a signal that we truly value the truth. It’s makes them feel they are important. It helps them understand that Christianity can offer something that will help them understand the world we live in God’s perspective. Let us not leave the answers to the cults. As C.S. Lewis once said,
“To be ignorant and simple now-not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground-would be to throw down our weapons and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen.”
Since information is just one-click away via the internet, the Millennials around the world wanted a quick and easy answer that could be read and watch on many video sharing platforms and social medias. It is unfortunate that they do not know how to sift the spiritually good information from the bad ones. Fortunately, Christians can offer the truth that comes from the Word of God. This truth would not just silence the critics but offer them eternal life and transformed life through the power of the Holy Spirit. May we as believers continue to engage and defend the faith to the spiritually lost as we honor God and make disciples.
15 But have reverence for Christ in your hearts, and honor him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, 16 but do it with gentleness and respect. Keep your conscience clear, so that when you are insulted, those who speak evil of your good conduct as followers of Christ will become ashamed of what they say. – 1 Peter 3:15-16, GW