Challenges to Apologetics, Part 3
The Church’s Need. Lastly, we have our context as being members of the family of God, the church. In light of the previously motioned challenges the church needs to develop a strong defense; not just to respond to the scoffing of non-Christians, but also for the nourishment of Christian faith. This takes me back to my early days as a Christian. I worked at a Christian bookstore. To my surprise, some of my Christian co-workers did not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. I tried debating them, but found that my reasons were weak and appealed much more to church tradition than to the Bible. This experience drove me to resources available in the store: mainly books on the Trinity. What I came to realize was that I learned more about my faith when it was contrasted by error than if I studied it apart from external pressures. This I believe is the current opportunity provided by our cultural climate. The modern flare up of antagonism against Christianity provides the needed impetus, a wake-up call, to developing a vibrant Christian faith.
Phillip Jenkins has written several books that focus on global Christianity. In light of the expansion of Christianity beyond its traditionally Western borders, there is the increasing necessity of theological and apologetic resources. The better prepared we are to defend the faith, the better equipped we are to teach this expanding body of believers.
Back home, studying the holistic credentials of Christianity bolsters our confidence in the marketplace of ideas. It’s one thing to feel certain of your beliefs, it’s another to know that these convictions aren’t merely based on feeling and can stand up against all the attacks from their cultured despisers. In fact, I would dare say that more often than not God in his providence has used the study of apologetics to strengthen the faith of his children rather than as a tool for conversion.
For more on global Christianity see,