POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

Apologetics in Contemporary Culture

Apologetics is properly defined as the defense of the faith against its detractors in the marketplace of ideas. As such it usually becomes a very broad interdisciplinary effort of engagement in the public sphere. It is primarily a discipline of theology, so it must necessarily grasp the core of the Christian faith. It must interact with other ideologies and worldviews so it must touch on philosophy, comparative relgion, and popular ideas in any given culture. In the west it must interact with secularism, scientism, and a consumeristic culture of pride and possessions. In the east it must confront syncretism and pantheism. And in todays global culture, Apologetics may deal with just about everything. Yet the goal in every context is the same. Broadly, apologetics should be intimately and subserviant to presenting the beauty and truth of the Lord Jesus to those who need to bow a knee to Him. It involves commending the living Christ to others, helping them to see his cross in a way that is unincumbered by false perceptions, half-truths, deceptions, and misunderstandings. As Ravi Zacharias has noted, Apologetics is well understood as “clearing the bushes” so that a person might look at the cross of Christ, the gospel of grace and respond. It never should be merely an intellectualy tit for tat between a believer and an unbeliever, an unending argument going round and round on a Carousel of pride. The desire of the apologist should be to connect with others - which involves, listening, love and patience - so that she might communicate clearly (Colossians 4:2-6) the good news of God reconciling the world to Christ (2 Corinthians 5). In this brief blog series I want to call believers to be apologists for the faith which requires something of us. To be an apologist today’s world requires a follower of Christ to possess at least three characteristics. He must be compassionate, he must be curious, and he must be a compelled. To these we turn over the next few entries…