APOLOGETIC'S: WHY IT IS NEEDED?
Having discussed the definition, biblical basis, and history of
apologetics, the issue of why apologetics is needed must now be
examined. In this chapter, seven reasons why Christians need to
defend the faith will be given. Though more reasons could be listed,
these seven will suffice to demonstrate that Christian apologetics is a
necessary discipline in the church.
GOD CREATED MAN TO THINK
Man was created by God to think. Man was created a rational
being.1 God wants man to use all that He has given him for His glory
(1 Corinthians 10:31). God has given each man a mind; God wants
him to use his mind.
God calls out to the unsaved and invites them to reason with Him
that they might be saved (Isaiah 1:18). But God also commands the
believer to love Him with all his mind (Mark 12:30). Whether saved
or unsaved, God wants man to think and use his mind. For this
reason, believers are to reason with others concerning the gospel
(Colossians 4:5-6). God never meant for His gospel message to be
considered “anti-intellectual.” Therefore, the first reason why
apologetics is needed is that God created man to think; He wants
people to use the minds He gave them.
TO CONFIRM THE FAITH OF BELIEVERS
A second reason why apologetics is needed is to strengthen or
confirm the faith of believers.2 It is necessary to answer the many
intellectual doubts that believers often have.
Our society enthusiastically promotes such ideologies as atheistic
evolution and moral relativism. Because of this, Christians are often
ridiculed. Born-again believers are often called old-fashioned or dull.
It is often said that Christians believe outdated myths or fairy tales.
This type of verbal persecution and peer pressure often lead believers
to doubt their faith. For this reason, apologetics is needed. It helps
answer the doubts a believer may develop in an anti-Christian
TO PERSUADE NONBELIEVERS
A third reason why apologetics is needed is that it can and has been
used to persuade nonbelievers to accept Christ.3 This is done by
removing intellectual stumbling blocks that often keep a person
Some believers disagree with this particular point. They are quick
to point out that arguments cannot lead people to Christ. For only the
Holy Spirit can lead a person to Christ. Several things must be
mentioned here. First, it is true that only the Holy Spirit regenerates
(John 3:3-6). Second, Jesus commands believers to share their faith
(Matthew 28:19-20). Third, the Bible commands believers to defend
the gospel (1 Peter 3:15). And, fourth, the people who make this
objection still share their faith. This shows that they believe that
though only the Holy Spirit regenerates, He has chosen to use
believers as His instruments. And they are correct at this point. But
their position is mistaken in that they fail to realize that the same God
who told Christians to share their faith also commanded them to
defend it. In other words, just as the Holy Spirit uses believers’
sharing of the gospel, He can also use believers’ defending of the
gospel. Very few Christians, if any, actually believe that the Holy
Spirit will lead people to Christ without using believers. Though He
has the power to do so, He has chosen to use Christians in both the
sharing and the defending of the faith.
It should also be noted that many people were led to Christ
through apologetics. Josh McDowell, C. S. Lewis, Walter Martin, and
John Warwick Montgomery are just a few outstanding Christian
leaders who came to Christ through apologetics.
Those who don’t do apologetics must stop witnessing when
objections to the gospel are raised, for they do not believe in providing
evidence for the gospel. But Christians who do apologetics can
continue to witness. Defenders of the faith can attempt to answer
those objections. And, if Christians really love their fellow man, they
should be willing to answer his objections if possible.
TO REFUTE SYSTEMS OF FALSE BELIEF
A fourth reason why apologetics is necessary is that heretical
movements must be refuted. If the truth is to be protected, then
errors must be exposed and countered. The apostle Paul made it clear
that pastors of local churches must be able to “refute those who
contradict” the truths of the Bible (Titus 1:9).
If Christians refuse to do battle with belief systems that oppose
Christianity, then non-Christian cults and religions will proclaim
their false teachings without opposition. Many people who thirst for
God will be led astray. Though most Christians shy away from
confrontation, they must be willing to boldly combat the false
teachings that they encounter. As the Lord confronted the legalistic
and hypocritical Pharisees (Matthew 23), His followers must be
willing to refute those who promulgate error.
If the Christian church does not oppose false religions and cults,
then the essential differences between truth and error will be blurred.
Therefore, apologetics is needed to refute non-Christian belief
TO IMPROVE THE MORAL HEALTH OF AMERICA
Fifth, apologetics is needed to help improve the moral well-being
of America.5 The increase in crime, sexual promiscuity, and abortion
have plagued this nation. Apologetics can be used to reverse these
trends. This can be done in two ways. First, believers may lead others
to Christ through apologetics. This will effect the behavior of these
new converts. They will begin to live by biblical morality as opposed
to the morality which the world promotes (James 2:26). Second,
through the use of apologetics, Christians can defend biblical
morality even when dealing with nonbelievers.
America needs moral direction. The Christian can encourage a
return to traditional values through the use of apologetics. Christian
thinkers should engage in public debates and dialogues with non-
Christian thinkers concerning ethical issues. In this way defenders of
the faith can argue for the superiority of Christian morality.
TO SHOW THE WORLD CHRISTIANITY IS NOT IRRATIONAL
A sixth reason why apologetics is needed is to declare to the world
that the Christian faith is not a contradictory system of thought. The
world must be shown that one does not have to throw away his or her
mind to become a Christian. Many intelligent and educated people
have been Christians in the past. Intelligent and educated people can
still be Christians today.
Defenders of the faith need to engage in public debate with non-
Christian thinkers. Even if no one is persuaded through apologetics
(which is usually not the case), at least it will be shown that the
Christian faith can be intelligently defended in the world of ideas. The
Church must not allow others to call the gospel an outdated myth
without responding to this accusation. Therefore, apologetics is
needed to show the world that Christianity is not irrational.
TO STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT EVEN IF NO ONE IS
Seventh, apologetics is needed to stand up for what is right even
if no one is listening. God demands that Christians stand up for His
truth even if it is rejected by all others. The apostle Paul preached the
same gospel regardless of whether his listeners applauded him or
stoned him (1 Corinthians 9:16; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33; Philippians
4:11-13; Galatians 1:10). The prophet Jeremiah’s message was
extremely unpopular to the people of Judah. Still, he proclaimed it
(Jeremiah 37:15-17). Just because others may harden their hearts to
the message, this does not relieve the Church from defending the
In the midst of an immoral culture, someone must stand up for
what is right. In the midst of an idolatrous society, someone must
contend for the one true God. Anything less is to ignore the
responsibilities entrusted to the Church. Paul stated, “I am appointed
for the defense of the gospel” (Philippians 1:16) and “woe is me if I do
not preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16). All Christians must
proclaim and defend the gospel even if no one is listening.
In conclusion, apologetics is needed for several reasons. First, God
created man to think. Therefore, the Church should be able to give
reasons for why she believes what she believes. Second, apologetics
helps to strengthen the faith of believers. Third, it is instrumental in
persuading nonbelievers to accept Christ. Fourth, it is necessary since
false belief systems must be refuted. Fifth, apologetics can help
improve the moral health of society. Sixth, apologetics is needed to
show the world that Christianity is not irrational. And, seventh,
apologetics is needed since God calls His followers to stand up for
what is right even if no one else is listening.
WHY APOLOGETIC'S IS NEEDED
1) Because God created man to think
2) To confirm the faith of believers
3) To persuade nonbelievers
4) To refute systems of false belief
5) To improve the moral health of America
6) To show the world Christianity is not irrational
7) To stand up for what is right even if no one else is listening
All excerpts taken from: Contend Earnestly for the Faith
copyright 2008 by Phil Fernandes, Ph.D.