Why We Believe is designed as an introduction to Christian apologetics.
What is apologetics?
Apologetics comes from a Latin legal term which means to give a defense during a trial.
The Biblical mandate for apologetics comes from I Peter 3:15b-16 "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."
I Peter teaches us that apologetics:
1. Must give an answer for the hope that we have. It is not a mere intellectual exercise and it cannot stand apart from a life that causes others to ask for an answer. No one wants to be led into hopelessness, no one wants answers thrust upon them for questions that they have not asked.
2. It gives a reasonable answer not an exhaustive one. We are called to give an answer for our hope, not necessarily for why everyone else should have hope. You may wish to see my article on what apologetics is not.
3. It answers with gentleness and respect. We will lead few to the love of Jesus by beating them over the head with our Bibles.
4. It answers with a clear conscience. What ever you do, don't lie. The Bible doesn't need lies to back it up. I have done my best to be accurate in my presentation of facts on this page and will correct any errors as soon as I find them. I desire to be honest in all of my presentations about the Bible and apologetics, because God is honest and I should follow his example.
5. It is accompanied be behavior that stands under persecution. Truth presented in an unkind, uncouth, or inconsistent way may keep people from knowing the hope that Jesus gives, so we must present ourselves in accordance with the principles that Jesus taught.
Why We Believe was designed as an adjunct to the apologetics class that I teach at Elmbrook Church. As such it has all of the handouts and notes from the class. It also has links to other websites that I have found useful and list of resourses for further study. If you are not part of my class I hope that you find this website useful as well.