Why Does God Want Our Defense?
I am a Christian apologist. When people discover that, they often make the joke, “Do you apologize for being a Christian?” Or, the runner up, “What are you apologizing for?” Although said in jest, their comments reveal the fact that the word apologetics and its role in the Christian life are foreign to many believers. In fact, after I explain that an apologist defends Christianity against objections, some people respond, “Why does God need our defense? He has the Holy Spirit to convict and convince unbelievers; He doesn’t need ‘evidences.’”
Before we go any further, we need to understand one thing: God doesn’t need anything from us, much less a defense. The Bible is very clear about this. God “gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). We need Him, even to keep breathing moment by moment, since He sustains all of creation in existence (Col. 1:17). But there’s nothing we have that He needs.
So let’s rephrase the question. Does God want our defense? Does He want us to exert time and energy offering evidence to support the validity of Christianity?
If not, apologetics is at best a waste of time and at worse interferes with the ministry of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, if the Holy Spirit uses apologetics to convict and convince people of the truth, it is vital that we arm ourselves from the apologetic arsenal accumulated by the church over the past two millenniums.
Our first task, then, is to discover what apologetics is and what an apologist does, so we can answer the question, “Does God want our defense and, if so, why?”