October 8, 2010

απολογιαν : Apologetics Not Apologies

απολογιαν noun: apologia ap-ol-og-ee'-ah: a plea (apology) -- answer (for self), clearing of self, defense.

"...but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense [απολογιαν] to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

I tried my hand at teaching from the Bible a year or so ago and I ceased doing it because it didn't feel right and many things lead me to believe I was too new in the faith or too immature a believer to properly shoulder the task (a la: 1 Timothy & Titus). This changes again on Oct 10, 2010. I am doing this to meet the requirements of my Systematic Theology course. It is the service learning portion of my syllabus. I'd have done this anyway had the opportunity presented itself as I am inexplicably being drawn towards pastorate, teaching, or both. This is a chance to hone the blade on the Sword of the Spirit and better present a defense (apologia) for the Faith while simultaneously helping others do the same. I'm jazzed to do so.

I will begin teaching an apologetics course at church. I have had formal correspondence and have finalized the plans to present a course initially on logic and the foundational first principles of logic such as the Law of Non-Contradiction, The Law of Identification and The Law of the excluded Middle. I will not be elaborating on them here other than to say that I hope I am giving these believers in attendance additional reasons to proactively go out into the world to make disciples. I pray that that something I do over the next few weeks will embolden or motivate folks to fulfill the Great Commission.

As I had stated to the spiritual leadership of the church I believer there are many positive advantages for Christian believers to engage the culture at their points of sin. To meet them at the point of consternation with their own belief systems. Through Presuppositional Apologetics I want to show my brethren where we need to address non-believers. By showing them how their worldviews are nonsensical or in some cases internally inconsistent.

The benefits to believers is manifold.

It will better define their own position in their walk. Anyone that is prepared to meet the world (often on its own terms) needs a solid self identity and solid Christian worldview when discussing things of the secular aspects.

It will give the attendees a solid launching-off point for discussion of worldly or Christian based discussion and not to be uncomfortable defending their Christian faith or those they represent in the face of hostility or confrontation from other worldviews.

In addition to the solid teaching of Jesus Christ and the Bible that the church already provides to cultivate a loving relationship with Him, apologetics can act as a reinforcing and encouraging tool for inter-congregational growth. It can also act as an intellectual defense of the biblical worldview or act as a method of engagement with a non-believing culture since apologetics often speaks to worldly issues, current ideas and current thought processes.

It allows for a common ground on which to base discussion with those outside your church to win new converts to Jesus Christ. Since most non-believers will not always understand or respond immediately to a Biblical or Christian based message it is always useful to have other avenues of discussion to lead into the Gospel or a Biblical worldview. Apologetics can provide this avenue. The person having taken this seminar will understand how other worldviews relate to the Christian worldview. Some of these other worldviews being: Atheism, Pantheism, Agnosticism, etc. In the case of Atheism and Agnostics these belief systems are often based in a methodological naturalistic or existential worldview that says, “If I cannot see it, validate it, it doesn’t exist.” An apologetics seminar will give rudimentary paths for a member of your church to begin to infiltrate these types of myopic non-Christian views to allow the seed of the Word to be planted for the Kingdom.

Overall this approach may very well aid the members to become more efficiently equipped in engaging the culture (people of today’s world outside the church). Hopefully this will allow members of the church to have more tools in their toolbox when they go out into the world to do the Lord’s work.

I am doing the best I can to put the Word out their. Are you?

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