The Effectiveness of Apologetics

Our Lord's God

Well-known member
Is apologetics effective in reaching its goals? What are those goals, and who is being reached with it?

NO. Apologetics, as it is typically conceived today, is usually nothing more than a game between two liars to see if either can convince someone else who is the best liar.

The apology which Peter talks about is something else altogether.
 
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Gary Mac

Well-known member
NO. Apologetics, as it is typically conceived today, is usually nothing more than a game between two liars to see if either can convince someone else who is the best liar.

The apology which Peter talks about is something else altogether.
To me apologetics is more of the order of what is inside man and what comes out from him. I dont see it as liars but truth of what is within the individual. What is inside always comes to surface no matter if one is Jesus, or Paul or Peter, James, John, or one simply posting in apologetics.
 

Stephen

Active member
Is apologetics effective in reaching its goals? What are those goals, and who is being reached with it?

Apologetics doesn't reach the person you are speaking with, they are reaching the person who is listening and they very likely aren't the same person (and that's ok).

Once both people discussing understand that, a more Christlike discussion can be hand between two disagreeing parties. And the listener benefits by not having to wade through two disagreeable people rather that two people who peacefully disagree.

In other words in practice Apologetics can meet the goals if done well, with a graceful spirit (as Stephen had in Acts 6-7). However mostly no.
 

Unknown Soldier

New Member
NO. Apologetics, as it is typically conceived today, is usually nothing more than a game between two liars to see if either can convince someone else who is the best liar.

The apology which Peter talks about is something else altogether.
I wouldn't be quite that cynical. I think there are people on both sides of the debate who honestly think their position on the truths of Christianity is correct. They might be deluded or insecure in their thinking, but in at least some cases they are not deliberately deceiving people.
 

Our Lord's God

Well-known member
I wouldn't be quite that cynical. I think there are people on both sides of the debate who honestly think their position on the truths of Christianity is correct. They might be deluded or insecure in their thinking, but in at least some cases they are not deliberately deceiving people.

Liars are often quite sincere about their lies. They can be quite passionate about them. They are still lies.
 

ziapueblo

Member
Is apologetics effective in reaching its goals? What are those goals, and who is being reached with it?
Apologetics is effective when you are able to have a civil discussion were two or more people are able to listen to one another's claims (thats the best word I can think of lol), ponder on it, ask questions and present their claims. I've been in some really nice apologetical discussions. Unfortunately, most debates don't end up this way and I have a theory.

My feeling is that this happens because our faith is so much of a part of who we are that if someone has a different interpretation of, lets say, Scripture, the Church, baptism, etc. that we take it personally and what happens then? We get defensive and when we get defensive we tend to attack the other person because we feel as if they are attacking us.

Second, anger. I've see a scenario where you have a former Roman Catholic who went to Church every Sunday, but that was it. This person may have never had a real experience with God. They meet someone who has and see the Catholic Church as something that does not contain God because they never experienced it there. This person is angry at the RCC and may attack it every chance they get. This also happens the other way around. A Protestant Christian who left their Church, became Orthodox lets say, and they have an issue with Protestants. I'm not saying this happens all the time, but its common enough.

Finally, it can turn into two people tossing Scripture verses at one another as if they were grenades and whoever threw the most perceives themselves as the winner.

I'm guilty of all this myself, except for my second example. I grew up RC, in what I would say a very devout home. We went to Church every Sunday as a family. We prayed together as a family. We read the Scriptures together as a family. After about 15 years knee deep in RC apologetics, I found my way into the Orthodox Church. I have no ill feelings towards the Catholic Church. My wife and I have friends and family that are RC whom we love dearly as well as friends and family who are Protestant whom we also love dearly.

My two cents!
 

Our Lord's God

Well-known member
Apologetics is effective when you are able to have a civil discussion were two or more people are able to listen to one another's claims (thats the best word I can think of lol), ponder on it, ask questions and present their claims. I've been in some really nice apologetical discussions. Unfortunately, most debates don't end up this way and I have a theory.

My feeling is that this happens because our faith is so much of a part of who we are that if someone has a different interpretation of, lets say, Scripture, the Church, baptism, etc. that we take it personally and what happens then? We get defensive and when we get defensive we tend to attack the other person because we feel as if they are attacking us.

Second, anger. I've see a scenario where you have a former Roman Catholic who went to Church every Sunday, but that was it. This person may have never had a real experience with God. They meet someone who has and see the Catholic Church as something that does not contain God because they never experienced it there. This person is angry at the RCC and may attack it every chance they get. This also happens the other way around. A Protestant Christian who left their Church, became Orthodox lets say, and they have an issue with Protestants. I'm not saying this happens all the time, but its common enough.

Finally, it can turn into two people tossing Scripture verses at one another as if they were grenades and whoever threw the most perceives themselves as the winner.

I'm guilty of all this myself, except for my second example. I grew up RC, in what I would say a very devout home. We went to Church every Sunday as a family. We prayed together as a family. We read the Scriptures together as a family. After about 15 years knee deep in RC apologetics, I found my way into the Orthodox Church. I have no ill feelings towards the Catholic Church. My wife and I have friends and family that are RC whom we love dearly as well as friends and family who are Protestant whom we also love dearly.

My two cents!

Did Jesus go around setting up apologetic debates to prove he was right?
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
To me apologetics is more of the order of what is inside man and what comes out from him. I dont see it as liars but truth of what is within the individual. What is inside always comes to surface no matter if one is Jesus, or Paul or Peter, James, John, or one simply posting in apologetics.
Obvious is not many can relate to being of Christ anointed of God as Jesus was anointed of God.
 

kamaeq

New Member
Is apologetics effective in reaching its goals? What are those goals, and who is being reached with it?
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1Pe 3:15)

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (2Ti 4:1-2)

The goal of apologetics matches the goals of witnessing, preaching and teaching. It is something Christians are told to do.

Effectiveness? That is up to God as His Spirit moves people that hear you.

Personally, I suggest at least enough to rebuke some of the usual sophomoric (at best, often they are more elementary) claims of unbelievers. At a minimum, a Christian must simply hold to the faith that is within them.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
Rebuking as a debate technique is taught in scripture???
No it is taught in the heart of man. Most rebuke the One who comes this day and restores His kingdom in you rebuking the very one who does come in favor of one yet to come.
 

e v e

Well-known member
No it is taught in the heart of man. Most rebuke the One who comes this day and restores His kingdom in you rebuking the very one who does come in favor of one yet to come.
I said that sarcastically since of course I know that it's not His way but that of men to fight back and forth and debate...house divided.
 
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