Why share THE Faith? (Part 2)
Topic: Apologetics Passage: Jude 1:3, 2 Corinthians 10:3–10:5, 2 Corinthians 11:6, Romans 1:18–1:23,
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Context of Apologetics: The concern here is internal - heresies. There are attacks from within the church and they must be defended against. Apologetics is not just designed for non-Christians, but also for use within the flock itself.
Call of Apologetics: "Contend for the faith"
- Contend - To fight, grapple, wrestle, go to war – we have warrant to go into warfare for the faith. This war is already taking place it’s just a question of if we’re sitting on the sidelines or fighting in it.
- For the Faith - This is not simply to defend our subjective faith, so we feel better about it. The core of apologetics is the defense of the distinctive truths about the Christian faith. This means two things: a. you must know them, b. you must think them worth fighting for. My seminary professor Mike Kruger said, “You must be a theologian before you are a philosopher.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ
The Enemy of the Apologist - Apologetic battles are spiritual battles; our enemy is not the person we’re talking to but the enemy in the spiritual realm who is deceiving them. This battle is in the context of a much bigger fight.
The Weapon of the Apologist - Our weapon is not of this world and, in fact, not valued by the world. Smooth talk, riveting presentations, impressive delivery, debating skills – these are not our weapons. Paul was good at apologetics despite an apparent shortcoming in these areas. We have no useful power in these conversations that isn’t God’s. We’re not just engaging in this to communicate information but to be used by God for supernatural work. The Word of God has to be central because it has the authority and power we need to be successful.
The Practice of the Apologist - Destroy Arguments - War is about destruction. We do not destroy people, but arguments (lies).
Romans 1:18-23 - 18
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Unbelievers are in intellectual rebellion against God and we are (carefully) exposing their sin and calling them to intellectual repentance. Important: this sin is no better or less dangerous than any other kind of rebellion against God.
Take Thoughts Captive – Take (thoughts/ideas) as prisoners and render them useless in battle.