Apologetics is the study of defending the Christian faith. This field is not merely for the academicians or the intellectual elite, but is for all believers everywhere.
If Christians simply stay cloistered in the church world and only befriend other believers who think like they do, they will see no need to study other belief systems since they rarely encounter those systems.
Yet, if Christians find themselves engaged with other belief systems in school, at the workplace, in the marketplace of ideas, interacting with the evening news, watch television shows or movies—or really any type of encounters with anyone in our culture—you will see the need to delve into the root behind those systems and to understand your faith all the better.
Here at Arapahoe Road Baptist Church, we have centered our vision and mission around five M’s, if you will:
- Magnify Christ: this is upward in direction as we seek to know Christ more deeply.
- Mature: this is forward in direction as we see to grow in Christ.
- Minister: this is inward in direction as we seek to show others Christ in day-to-day gospel living.
- Mobilize: this is outward in direction as we seek to go in the name of Christ from Centennial to the corners of creation.
- Multiply: this is onward in direction as we seek to flow in the Kingdom work of Christ in places that do not have a gospel witness.
The key verse for many in apologetics is that of 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts regard Christ as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” Notice how the mission fits in:
- Magnify: “In your hearts regard Christ as holy …” Magnify Christ by seeing Him as He truly is!
- Mature: “… Always being prepared to make a defense …” – Christians will want to grow in their faith to be prepared to..
- Minister: “ … with gentleness and respect…”—We minister out of love, understanding that we ourselves, outside of Christ, would be lost and blind without Him taking the scales from our eyes.
- Mobilize: “… to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” As you are mobilized (as you go), others may and will ask you what makes you tick.
- Multiplication: In this, as the Spirit moves and flows through us, God will bring the growth (1 Corinthians 3:8).
We trust the Word and the Spirit—but we (regardless of what others may say) have a reasonable, rational, defensible faith. Religion and reason are not mutually exclusive—those who come to those conclusions are either biased (some church has hurt them in the past and that pain has dug down deep) or are lazy (those who jump to the conclusions or listen to others who don’t know better either, and they perpetuate the falsehood).
But we engage in this to strengthen the believers and to be ready to share the gospel as we connect with others and their worldview.