Why Apologetics? (Part 2)
Now I’ll try to briefly spell out the one sentence answers I gave in the first entry.
Question:Why and how is the study of apologetics beneficial to the church?
1) First, apologetics encourages the believer to develop a distinctively Christian theory of knowledge.
Apologetics deals with defending and commending the Christian faith. As a result, it deals with a knowledge claims. As Christians we claims to know that God exists, that He is triune, that humans are divine image-bearers ,yet sinful, that Christ is the Son of God, and that He rose from the dead, etc.
When we deal with claims to know things like this (and claims to know anything) where are dealing with issues in the field of epistemology. Epistemology is the subdivision in philosophy that handles theories about how we know things, how we determine true knowledge from opinion, how do we know they’re truth, and how do we know we know. In the history of philosophy theories of knowledge (i.e. epistemologies) have have been proposed by many people, but as Christians our goal is to be biblical. So we can’t accept any old theory of knowledge but rather should strive to conform our understanding of knowledge to scripture.
Finally, Doing apologetics should help us to ask the standards epistemological questions (how do I know? etc.) and seek for their answers with an open Bible. By doing this we demonstrate a submission to God’s word as our ultimate standard not only for so-called “religious” knowledge, but for all knowledge. Likewise, in doing this we “love the Lord our God with all… our minds.” Scripture is filled with passages that address our thought-life. We are to “take every thought captive” to Christ “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” It also speaks of the saving knowledge of God that Christians have, as well as the paradoxical nature of the unbeliever’s knowledge of God.