Dear Friends,

Christian Apologetics is not about Christians apologizing. Christian Apologetics refers to the articulation and defense of the Christian faith. Many people in Messiah, in fact probably everyone in Messiah, will benefit by reading or listening to good Christian apologetics. By the way, Ottawa has a yearly apologetics conference called Dig and Delve. This is the fifth consecutive year for the conference. The title this year is “Life Hurts. God?” We will look at the problem of evil, pain and suffering – a problem many people believe proves that God does not exist.

Christian apologetics involves four aspects or elements. First is the whole hearted and whole minded embracing of the Gospel and the whole counsel of God. The Christian faith is centered around both God’s Gospel and His counsel. The Gospel is understood in the context of his counsel, and His counsel is understood in the context of His Gospel. The Gospel is the good news from God that He has sent His only begotten Son to live a perfect life and die a sin-bearing death so that we may be reconciled to God and made alive to live free as His Child in His world for His glory. The counsel of God is His reveled truth, understood and articulated from the Christians humbly listening to the Bible, God’s word written. Apologists seek to believe and understand both the Gospel and the counsel with depth and clarity. If they do not believe and understand it, they cannot defend and commend it. So listening to Christian apologists helps us to know and understand the faith better.

Second, Christian apologetics involves defending God’s Gospel and the whole counsel of God from attacks made by heretics and those who hold to other faiths and philosophies. This aspect of apologetics involves clarifying what Christians do and do not believe. Often criticisms of the Christian faith involves either a misunderstanding or a “straw man” [a caricature of the faith articulated because it is easy to mock or critique]. So listening to apologists helps us to understand the Christian faith better.

Third, Christian apologetics involves the critique of heresies, other faiths and philosophies, showing how they are inadequate, inconsistent and untrue. Pray that this is always done in a biblical manner! “…Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord 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, having a good conscience …” [1 Peter 3:14b-16a]

Fourth, Christian apologetics involves commending the Gospel and the whole counsel of God in the hope that non-Christians will become Christians and that Christians will grow in humble confidence in the Christian faith. Christians sometimes have doubts. To doubt is to be in “two minds” – one part of my mind believing the Christian faith and another part of my mind wondering if some other “way” is more true. Listening to Christian apologetics done well helps us to be “one-minded”, centered on Christ, living free for His glory. Please pray for Dig and Delve, November 2-3, 2018. Plan to attend with your friends!