What is apologetics? Apologetics, simply put, is the act or discipline of defending (and proclaiming) one’s faith. So, Christian apologetics consists of defending and proclaiming the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible, in response to the various questions and objections from non-Christians (including heretical groups/sects that identify with Christianity). However, apologetics can also be used in a broader sense, to include debate between biblical/orthodox Christians.
The most well-known passage on apologetics is 1 Peter 3:14-16: “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” The underlined portion is the heart of apologetics. The word “defense” could also be translated “argument” or “explanation”. It is from the Greek word ἀπολογία (apologia), which is where we get our English word, apologetics. According to the entire passage, apologetics must be approached with a willingness to endure suffering for righteousness sake, boldness, submission to Christ’s lordship, graciousness, and a good conscience. While every Christian is, to some degree, an apologist, God does call and equip certain individuals for more of a full-time, formal approach to apologetics (see, for example, Alpha & Omega Ministries). While I am not a “professional apologist,” apologetics is an important part of my life and ministry. I especially have an interest in apologetics against Roman Catholicism and Islam. The following articles and podcast recordings (with the help of Dale Stenberg) are my work in progress. May you be blessed and edified from these materials.
Answering Roman Catholicism
Justification: Infused or Imputed Righteousness? In this article I analyse the Roman Catholic view of justification — infused righteousness — and the Reformed view of justification — imputed righteousness. This was the material principle in debate during the Protestant Reformation. I seek to demonstrate in this article that the Scriptures teach the Reformation view, that justification is forensic/legal in nature, consisting of the forgiveness of sins and the imputation/crediting of Christ’s righteousness to us by faith alone. 11 pages
“Is Jesus Really God?”: Defending the Eternal Glory of Jesus against the Objections of Islam In this article I respond to another article I found on the Institute of Islamic Information & Education website, which seeks to present an argument against the Deity of Jesus. In essence, I demonstrate that the author of this article has not interpreted the biblical texts in their context, nor do they have a proper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. 15 pages
“Who Invented the Trinity?”: Defending the Triune Nature of God as Revealed in His Word The doctrine of the Trinity is essential and central to the Christian faith and life. It is also one of the most attacked doctrines by Muslims (and others). It is important, therefore, that we make sure that we are thoroughly grounded in its biblical basis, and can recognize the various misrepresentations of the Trinity found among Muslims. This article, which is a response to an Islamic article, will help achieve this. 21 pages
Deceived Deceivers: Our Conversation with Mormon Missionaries Dale Stenberg and I, on our Reformasium podcast, discuss a conversation we had with a couple Mormon missionaries, as well as an older member of the Mormon Church. This discussion gives an idea of what you can expect if you have an encounter with Mormons and how you might respond. This episode will also serve as an overview of Mormon beliefs.
No Other God: Examining the Doctrine of God in Mormonism Dale Stenberg and I discuss the Mormon concept that God once was a man like us and we ourselves can become gods. This teaching contradicts a fundamental belief in biblical Christianity, which is that there is only one, true God — there are no other gods (period).
Calvinistic Evangelism: An Oxymoron? This is an article that deals with the biblical reasons for evangelism, which I argue is fully in line with the teachings of Calvinism. In other words, Calvinism, contrary to the claims of many non-Calvinists, does not in any way hinder evangelism. 5 pages
The Purpose of Christ’s Incarnation: Redeeming the Seed of Abraham A particular and exegetical look at Hebrews 2:14-18, demonstrating the particular nature of Christ’s atonement (i.e. Limited Atonement). The theological inconsistency of the non-Reformed, or universal atonement, perspective is also briefly discussed. 3 pages
The New Birth: Before or After Repentance & Faith? Does man have “free will”? What is the new birth, and does it happen before or after one repents and believes the gospel? Does it matter? What’s the significance? No doubt, these are hot topics, and always have been. Yet, they are important, and therefore must be discussed. In this article I write in favor and defense of the Reformed perspective – man’s will is enslaved to sin, and therefore cannot do that which is pleasing to God; the new birth precedes and brings about repentance and faith. 12 pages
A Biblical-Theological Response to Leighton Flowers Dale Stenberg and I provide a response to Leighton Flowers. The discussion primarily centers on God’s decree and man’s responsibility.
Authentic Apologetics: Pondering Presuppositions in a Wayward World Dale Stenberg and I discuss apologetics from a presuppositional or covenantal perspective, which we believe to be the biblical approach to apologetics as opposed to evidential apologetics.
Jesus is the Savior: A Brief & Often Overlooked Argument for the Deity of Jesus If you’re going to engage in discussion or debate with members of other religions (e.g. Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims), you better be prepared to defend the Deity of Jesus, as this is central to the Christian faith, and therefore is commonly attacked. This resource is not necessarily a response to a specific attack on Jesus’ Deity, but instead presents a positive/offensive and specific case for Jesus’ Deity in a concise fashion. 1 page