HERE are a number of methods for illustrating the trustfulness of the gospel and the inevitable nihilism of alternative worldviews. In my personal study of Scripture, with reflection upon various biblical passages of an apologetic nature, and in light of broader theological themes from the Bible, I fail to be convinced that the Bible regulates any particular apologetic method.
o the heavens send a mixed message? Paul says the heavens reveal wrath (Romans 1). King David says the heavens reveal glory (Psalm 19). Which is it, glory or wrath?
HRISTIANS have always summarized their beliefs in forms that are memorable and easy to pass on to new believers. The Christian faith is a confessional faith. This does not mean that the creeds are themselves the basis for our convictions: the Bible alone holds that authoritative position.
POLOGETICS is at the heart of the gospels, the four inspired historical biographies about Jesus of Nazareth. While the New Testament writers are clearly doing more than apologetics, they are not doing less. The apostles and their associates offer us an inspired examination, interpretation, and application of the first century crime scene: the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
LD Testament prophets served to warn the nation of Israel of God’s judgment and to encourage them with a vision of God’s promises. The New Testament writers apply these Old Testaments prophecies to Jesus. The apostles understood and preached Jesus as the fulfillment of the promises of the old covenant.
HE Psalms are a microcosm of the Bible. They are the soundtrack of Scripture. The five books of the Psalms are organized to tell the story of God and man. These “holy songs,” as Jonathan Edwards described them, are “nothing else but the expressions and breathings of devout and holy affections.”
fter explaining the origin of the universe and of humanity and sin, the Bible provides an account of God’s redemptive work through the choosing of a people, the nation of Israel. Like the creation of the world, the chronology of the nation of Israel is presented as a historical account of God’s activity in the world.
he late agnostic scientist Stephen J. Gould thought that religion and science speak of, to, and from separate domains. He described religion and science as two ships passing in the night. “Science gets the age of rocks,” he wrote, “and religion the rock of ages; science studies how the heavens go, religion how to go to heaven.” Both skeptics and Bible-believing Christians alike have rejected Gould’s description, as the Christian religion does make claims about the physical world and not merely about internal human values.
he believer’s personal apologetic can be illustrated with concentric circles. A person’s testimony is the first circle in their personal apologetics. Like a pebble dropped in a pond, there will be additional circles expanding outwards. While a person’s account of the “hope within them” is where their apologetic begins, it should not be where it ends. Love for God and love for neighbor will require them to be able to explain, clarify, and defend an increasing amount of intellectual, philosophical, and historical real estate. Ignorance and inaction are not options for faithful Christians.