Last week someone asked a crucial question. It was a sweet lady on a Facebook group. She asked (I’m paraphrasing):
“how do you get started in apologetics?”
There are tons of places to start. Some great, some bad. Having been in this ministry for awhile I decided to share some reliable resources and a step-wise approach to apologetics.
Apologetics is for all Christians.
Of course, each person will do it at different levels. Some are more gifted than others in this field, some have other spiritual gifts. But we are all ambassadors for Christ.
What is Apologetics? Discernment Ministry
Apologetics: from Greek apologia (ἀπολογία) meaning “intelligent reasoning”, to make a “reasoned defense” and bring solid proof (sound logic); to make a compelling defense with sound logic (argumentation). Strong’s Greek 627
It has nothing to do with saying “I’m sorry”, and has everything to do with providing a logical argument for Biblical truth.
- You do apologetics when non-believing friends ask why you believe what you do
- You do it when you do evangelism
- You do it when talking to co-workers on topics of religion or worldview
- You do it when someone asks what the Bible says on different issues
- Christians end up doing apologetics in almost any circumstance. So it’s good to be prepared.
Lay the foundation
Be rooted in the love of Christ (Eph 3:17) Know God’s love for you by basking in His Word, treasuring His specific promises for your life, praising Him for His blessing and goodness. Christ’s love enables you to have the gentleness to help an honest and confused soul, and power and discernment to rebuke the rebellious and the heretics.
Put on the whole armor (Eph 6:11-18) How do you do that? Daily reading of Scripture, book by book, verse by verse, not haphazard skipping and choosing passages. You have to be familiar with the Word. It’s like practicing with your weapon; if you don’t practice you won’t know how to use it in battle.
Develop a Biblical worldview (Romans 12:2) Screen ALL things in life (books, movies, social media, music etc) through the lens of the Bible. It should be your measuring stick. Only with a Biblical worldview can you discern between good and evil. At the bank, tellers learn what an authentic dollar looks like so they can spot a counterfeit.
Resources for Bible Knowledge
It’s crucial to know Bible history, hermeneutics (interpretation of the text), background & context of each book & passage of the Bible. Here’s a small selection of some of the best resources
- The Outline Bible the most comprehensive outline of the Bible available by Harold L. Willmington
- The Bible Knowledge Commentary Old & New Testament by Dallas Seminary Faculty
- Nelson’s Compact Bible Handbook great for outline and theme of each book
- The Unger’s Bible Handbook has photos and great explanations
- Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
- Biblehub great for looking up original word used in the Bible (click interlinear and Lexicon tabs)
- Blue Letter Bible another tool to look up the original word
- Rose Publishing has a variety of timelines, charts and summaries to check out
Know your Origins (Creation vs. Evolution)
Genesis and creation are the foundation of many doctrines in the Bible. A correct view of Genesis and our origins influences a person’s beliefs about ethics, freedom, human rights, theology and more! So you have to be well versed on the biblical and scientific FACTS about our origins.
There are two excellent leading ministries in this field. Answers in Genesis and Institute for Creation Research. They have researchers and scientists who have PhD degrees. They have awesome resources!
- Subscribe to the FREE scientific magazine by Institute for Creation Research
- Subscribe to the Answers in Genesis magazine for a low $8 per issue
- Watch the short 2 minute That’s a Fact videos on Facebook & Vimeo by Institute for Creation Research
- Follow them on instagram and facebook for more updates!
- Read Clearly Seen: Constructing Solid Arguments for Design by Dr. Randy Guliuzza
- Read Made in His Image: Examining the complexities of the human body by Dr. Randy Guliuzza
- Get the DVD series Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis and other DVDs
- Understand the dangers of theistic evolution and BioLogos
Master Logical Argumentation
Love God with all your mind. God is a God of order and logic. Christianity is based on facts and historical realities. Being trained in logic will help you demolish a weak and fallacious argument from opponents and reveal the truth. Look up books on logic 101, critical thinking and argumentation. Watch videos on youtube with debates to learn how to formulate answers.
Resources on Crislam & Islam
One of the most widespread issue in the western church today is making islam compatible with Christianity. There is a trend to combine islam and Christianity into Crislam. Here are the best resources to be informed and tackle this issue
- Brannon Howse, expert on islam Worldview Weekend Radio
- Jihad Watch website with facts about the Middle East
- Read Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America and They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It by Lebanese-American Brigitte Gabriel
- Read Son of Hamas
- Read The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, and Jews under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain by professor Dario Fernandez-Morera from Northwestern University
There are tons of resources out there and several varieties of cults. Start with the main cults & build from there. An excellent pamphlet to get started with is
- 10 Keys to Witnessing to Cults by Ron Rhodes
- Jehovah’s Witnesses: What You Need to Know by Ron Rhodes
- Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons by Ron Rhodes
- Resources on Seventh Day Adventism
Ellen White false prophet
Ellen White versus the Bible
Ecumenism, mysticism and church trends
Some valuable weblogs which tackle many issues that affect the church today are:
INGREDIENTS for being a warrior of truth:
KNOW your Bible. Your foundation has to be a Biblical worldview. Know Biblical & world history.
LEARN proper Hermeneutics. Meaning, interpreting Bible passages in context! Dallas Theological Seminary has great resources, among others.
RELY on the Holy Spirit. Pray for God’s guidance in everything you do. Christ teaches you all things pertaining to the Word of God (John 14:26).
LIVE a godly life. In order to have the mind of Christ, we must live like Christ (1 Cor 2:16).
KNOW the foundation of the Bible (Genesis) and the summary (Revelation), on which hinge all the rest of Biblical teachings. So access “Answers in Genesis” and “Institute for Creation Research” for scientific creation resources. Access Dallas Theological Seminary for books on Revelation, among others.
TRAIN yourself in logical argumentation.
STAY abreast with political developments and church trends, approaching everything with a critical mind.
SCREEN all media, authors, pastors, music, movies, curriculum, etc. through a biblical lens. Do background checks. Does it line up with Scripture? If not, avoid.
RESEARCH always for better resources. Go deep. Old historical Christian writings aren’t necessarily better or safer. Do background checks on the writers.
KEEP your mind uncluttered. Too much time on social media, trends, and useless news uses up memory space. It impedes from meditating on the Word. It makes you less effective.
STAY humble. God gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5-6
DON’T let anyone despise your youth. Be equipped, precise, godly and Biblical to bring God glory and shut the mouths of opponents
(1 Tim 4:12)