Apologetics

civic

Well-known member
The word apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia and refers to a speech of defense. The word appears eight times in the New Testament.

Strongs 627
apologia: a speech in defense
Original Word: ἀπολογία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: apologia
Phonetic Spelling: (ap-ol-og-ee'-ah)
Definition: a speech in defense
Usage: a verbal defense (particularly in a law court).

ἀπολογία, ἀπολογίας, ἡ (see ἀπολογέομαι), verbal defense, speech in defense: Acts 25:16; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Philippians 1:7, 17 (16); 2 Timothy 4:16; with a dative of the person who is to hear the defense, to whom one labors to excuse or to make good his cause: 1 Corinthians 9:3; 1 Peter 3:15; in the same sense, ἡ ἀπολογία ἡ πρός τινα, Acts 22:1 (Xenophon, mem. 4, 8, 5).

First, however, let me define and clarify terms. Apologia in classical times simply meant “defense”. In a court of law, an apologetic was the making of a defense for the defendant at trial. Such was the case of the Apology by Plato. He was setting forth the case made by Socrates during his trial before the court at Athens.

In Acts 7, Stephen makes a defense before his accusers in Jerusalem. And several times in the book of Acts, Paul sets out a defense before his accusers, not only for his actions as he traveled the world preaching the gospel, but also a defense for the gospel itself. He wanted people to see the reasonableness for faith in Christ.

Paul would reference the prophetic passages of the Old Testament and showed how Jesus, in the days of the Incarnation, was the exact fulfillment of these prophecies. Furthermore, Paul appeals to the historicity of the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and the remarkable number of eyewitnesses who validated having seen the Resurrected Christ.

These were apologetic proofs for faith. Jesus was not only raised from the dead, but his resurrection validated both his deity and his message—somehow the death and Resurrection of Christ puts us right with God. Paul used apologetics to validate his message that Christ’s sacrifice is the means whereby God forgives sin, reconciles lost humanity to himself, and provides the hope of eternal life.christianity today


Phil 1:7
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me.

Titus 1:9
He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. 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,

Jude 3
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

So why do we have posters here who do not use any apologetic to defend their position ?

I say its because their position is not defendable and they are incapable of giving a defense of their beliefs. Their belief is emotion and not built upon the biblical principle of hermenuetics.

Do you agree ?

BTW- I've seen good apologetics on both side of the fence just to be fair.

hope this helps !!!
 

civic

Well-known member
Also I believe if those who oppose our views on this forum refuse to use apologetics and hermenuetics themselves they should be ignored. This forum was designed with these as a given for interaction between Arminians and Calvinists.


Historically, apologetics has been understood to involve at least three functions or goals. Some apologists have emphasized only one function while others have denied that one or more of these are valid functions of apologetics, but in general they have been widely recognized as defining the task of apologetics. Francis Beattie, for example, delineated them as a defense of Christianity as a system, a vindication of the Christian worldview against its assailants, and a refutation of opposing systems and theories.9

Bernard Ramm also lists three functions of apologetics. The first is “to show how the Christian faith is related to truth claims.” The truth claims of a religion must be examined so that its relation to reality can be discerned and tested. This function corresponds to what Beattie calls defense. The second function is “to show Christianity’s power of interpretation” relative to a variety of subjects—which is essentially the same as what Beattie calls vindication. Ramm’s third function, the refutation of false or spurious attacks, is identical to Beattie’s.10

John Frame likewise has outlined “three aspects of apologetics,” which he calls proof, defense, and offense. Proof involves “presenting a rational basis for faith”; defense involves “answering the objections of unbelief”; and offense means “attacking the foolishness (Ps. 14:1; 1 Cor. 1:18-2:16) of unbelieving thought.”11 Frame’s book then follows this outline: proof (chapters 3–5), defense (6–7), and offense (8).

The first three parts of Robert Reymond’s fourfold analysis of the task of Christian apologetics follow the same pattern. (1) Apologetics answers particular objections—obstacles like alleged contradictions between scriptural statements and misconceptions about Christianity need to be removed (defense). (2) It gives an account of the foundations of the Christian faith by delving into philosophical theology, and especially epistemology (vindication). (3) It challenges non-Christian systems, particularly in the area of epistemological justification (refutation). To these Reymond adds a fourth point: (4) Apologetics seeks to persuade people of the truth of the Christian position.12 In a sense, this last point could be viewed simply as indicating the overall purpose of apologetics, with the first three points addressing the specific functions by which that purpose is accomplished. On the other hand, treating persuasion as a separate function is helpful, since it involves elements that go beyond offering an intellectual response (the focus of the first three points). Persuasion must also consider the life experience of the unbeliever, the proper tone to take with a person, and other matters beyond simply imparting information.

We may distinguish, then, four functions, goals, modes, or aspects of apologetics. The first may be called vindication (Beattie) or proof (Frame) and involves marshaling philosophical arguments as well as scientific and historical evidences for the Christian faith. The goal of apologetics here is to develop a positive case for Christianity as a belief system that should be accepted. Philosophically, this means drawing out the logical implications of the Christian worldview so that they can be clearly seen and contrasted with alternate worldviews. Such a contrast necessarily raises the issue of criteria of verification if these competing truth claims are to be assessed. The question of the criteria by which Christianity is proved is a fundamental point of contention among proponents of the various kinds of Christian apologetic systems.

The second function is defense. This function is closest to the New Testament and early Christian use of the word apologia: defending Christianity against the plethora of attacks made against it in every generation by critics of varying belief systems. This function involves clarifying the Christian position in light of misunderstandings and misrepresentations; answering objections, criticisms, or questions from non-Christians; and in general clearing away any intellectual difficulties that nonbelievers claim stand in the way of their coming to faith. More generally, the purpose of apologetics as defense is not so much to show that Christianity is true as to show that it is credible.

The third function is refutation of opposing beliefs (what Frame calls “offense”). This function focuses on answering, not specific objections to Christianity, but the arguments non-Christians give in support of their own beliefs. Most apologists agree that refutation cannot stand alone, since proving a non-Christian religion or philosophy to be false does not prove that Christianity is true. Nevertheless, it is an essential function of apologetics.

The fourth function is persuasion. By this we do not mean merely convincing people that Christianity is true, but persuading them to apply its truth to their life. This function focuses on bringing non-Christians to the point of commitment. The apologist’s intent is not merely to win an intellectual argument, but to persuade people to commit their lives and eternal futures into the trust of the Son of God who died for them. We might also speak of this function as evangelism or witness.

These four aspects or functions of apologetics have differing and complementary goals or intentions with respect to reason. Apologetics as proof shows that Christianity is reasonable; its purpose is to give the non-Christian good reasons to embrace the Christian faith. Apologetics as defense shows that Christianity is not unreasonable; its purpose is to show that the non-Christian will not be acting irrationally by trusting in Christ or by accepting the Bible as God’s word. Third, apologetics as refutation shows that non-Christian thought is unreasonable. The purpose of refuting non-Christian belief systems is to confront non-Christians with the irrationality of their position. And fourth, apologetics as persuasion takes into consideration the fact that Christianity is not known by reason alone. The apologist seeks to persuade non-Christians to trust Christ, not merely to accept truth claims about Christ, and this purpose necessitates realizing the personal dimension in apologetic encounters and in every conversion to faith in Christ.bible.org

hope this helps !!!
 
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