But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… 1 Peter 3:15
I’m not sure where I picked this up, but when I was younger I believed that every good Christian needed to be a good apologist. And being a good apologist meant being a good debater to argue people into accepting the gospel. Learn all the arguments and counter-arguments. Don’t back down. Break down every objection until they have no choice but to accept the Truth and become a Christian.
Interestingly, as I just wrote out what I once believed apologetics to be, I realized something was missing: Jesus. In this perspective, it’s not about Jesus, it’s about winning, whether a soul or the argument. It’s about getting someone to accept a set of propositions and a label.
Scripture actually gives us a different approach to apologetics: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Peter 3:15-16). Eyes on Jesus. Gentleness, respect, and humility. And a readiness to share the hope that we profess because we know Jesus Christ. This should be our attitude towards apologetics.
Today, imagine Jesus going with you throughout your day. Let his presence remind you to interact with others with gentleness and respect.
By Jessica Rust