Biblical Defending the Faith
I had the privilege of speaking at Galeed Baptist of Bladenboro, NC as part of their evangelistic revival on the topic of “Defending Your Faith.” Attached are the materials I presented and the resources I mentioned during the sermon.
Defending the Faith
This is the powerpoint I used during the sermon. The idea is two fold: The Bible commands that we do apologetics, and the Bible gives three ways to do apologetics. “Apologetics” means “defense.” It comes from a common Greek word and is used several times in Scripture to reference defending our faith, but is also used whenever Paul found himself in court and had to defend himself. I believe the term has been misunderstood, and we don’t even recognize it when we see it. Any time we give reasons for our faith, any time we tell someone why they should believe in Christ, any time we explain and clarify Christianity, we are in some ways “doing” apologetics.
My goal is simply to create a hunger, not just to KNOW more, but to DO more. Apologetic knowledge is useless unless it is used to bring people to Christ. And that is its value. I believe that evangelism in the 21st century will be accomplished through apologetics.
(Not from the conference, but a big part of my work)
We know what evangelism is. When we tell people about Christ, they might put their faith in Christ and be saved. But many times when we talk about Christ or even God in general, we face the “hard soil” (Matthew 13) that doesn’t understand or rejects. Apologetics can help clear the land and till the soil to answer objections, correct misinformation, and deal with deceptions that have occurred.
When a person is saved, they are then discipled. But many churches do not intentionally disciple. In fact, if you read several books on discipleship, you’ll get the sense that no one really knows what a disciple is as so few can agree, or they say something like “someone who follows Jesus.” A disciples does follow Jesus, but saying a “follower of Jesus” is about as helpful as explaining a “Christian” is someone who “follows Christ.” True, but lacking explanatory power.
Apologetic discipleship is targeted using the methods and thinking in apologetics as applied to discipleship. More can be found at Fully Equipped NGIM 2017.
Back to the Galeed revival specifically:
I mentioned a book that Norman Geisler just published. It came out just last week or so, and I have not read it, but the content is relevant, and it’s worth the investment (about $5 on Kindle). You can find it on amazon here.
Dr. Geisler also has another book which is helpful for understanding the “Essentials of the Faith.” I said there were 13. There are a few more than that, but some of them aren’t necessarily long held as they are critically necessary for an orthodox faith.
If you want a book that explores them, the name of the book is Convictions Without Compromise, and I believe it is out of print, but used copies abound. I have this book and have used it many times. I teach its outline regularly. The co-author, Dr. Ron Rhodes is another hero and former professor of mine.
Below is a picture of the table of contents of the book. This shows you the list of essential doctrines and and ideas, and that is about all I can show without violating copyright laws. I highly encourage you to get a copy if you want to understand the key doctrines. These are the places you draw the line in the sand and say “no compromise.”
One final word, if you want some great apologetic resources, visit Bastion Books. This is where Dr. Geisler has republished several of his works as inexpensive e-books. If you want to get started on the apologetic journey, get his “12 Points” book. It’s fundamental. I teach it as my introduction to apologetics text book. The book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” is based on the 12 points and contains much more detail concerning some of the side points and is more narrative in style.
Southern Evangelical Seminary’s Blog (Where I go to school. A great place to get started with articles designed to reach lay audiences.)
Christian Apologetics Research Ministry (A great resource for seeking answers to a variety of issues, cults, and ideas.)