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What Is Apologetics?

Truth For a New Generation / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
February 4, 2019 8:33 am

What Is Apologetics?

Truth For a New Generation / Alex McFarland

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February 4, 2019 8:33 am

02-03-19 What Is Apologetics? by Truth for a New Generation

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Best-selling author, speaker and advocate for Christian apologetics Dr. Alex McFarland, best-selling author and apologist Dylan Burroughs together bringing you truths for a new generation. This is TMG radio first Peter 315 says be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks, a reason for the hope that you have welcome to TMG radio Alex McFarland with Dylan Burroughs, Dylan. I guess in terms of Christian apologetics. That is probably the most well-known verse evolving.

When people ask what is apologetics your number versus that people can cite, but invariably first Peter 315 is the one that people think I'll be ready to give an answer.

Would you agree most certainly. And for me it was surprising that last year I was at the national broadcasters convention in her vice president Mike Pentz spoke addressing Christian broadcast leaders in the very verse that he used and chose to share those leaders was this verse in first Peter 315 and 16, exactly. And yet we get the question a lot via email and a lot of correspondence. People say what is apologetics and I would give the whole verse in its context. But it says but set apart Christ as Lord in your heart and be ready always. In other words, be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks, a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. The Neil King James has do this with meekness and fear. You remember Daniel and the men and in the Old Testament that purposed in their heart that they would not defile themselves with any sort of bribe or any food or anything like that. They made a decision in their heart and apologetics to live the faith and present and defend the faith. It does begin with it with a decision in your heart and a resolve the Jesus Christ will be your Lord and Savior, and that you will be his representative. You know, we often say that we have a true message. We are to be authentic messengers. Now another verse that I want to give in relation to apologetics and by the way, in this program were going to talk about what apologetics is and is not what is apologetics because it definitely relates to the life of the Christian first Peter 215 says this is the will of God, that by doing well. He will put to silence the arguments of foolish men and Dylan. Have you ever that'll phrase you know people can't hear what we say because they're there watching how we act or they see who we are. Is it possible for us to share the true message of the gospel, but it really fall on deaf ears because of what people perceive negatively in the life of the one sharing it, that's a good point and many times in the past, Christian radio stations that do just that. If he saw moral failing by Christian musical artist. Suddenly a radio station when the side were no longer going to play that artist's songs on a radio station.

Why not because the song was suddenly bad because the person performing the song now had a reputation that dishonored the message they broadcast over the radio and we see this elsewhere in our lives today. If you're us person who seeks to share the gospel with others, but your life does not reflect a Christian lifestyle. Your message will be less effective and that's why as Christians like we read in first Peter 215 that by doing good.

We put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. It's by our actions that people give us an audience to share the message with them.

So let's dig down and look at what apologetics is because you know sometimes people will say I don't apologize for being a Christian, let me say in no way in no way is apologetics backpedaling or soft pedaling anything or saying you know, I'm sorry for being a Christian, you know, please, please like me anyway. Note it. It really means a strong persuasive compelling defense of the faith, and more than ever I think everybody probably would agree the Christian faith needs to be proclaimed. It needs to be defended the claims of Christianity have been under attack. So when first Peter 315 says give an answer and be prepared to give a reason the word answer in the word reason these are really ancient legal words that mean to speak in defense of something, but be mindful of the fact that your life has to match your message. I would do this with gentleness and respect in Dylan. I can think of some incredible mentors that you and I both have had that they they share the message of the gospel, powerfully, decisively, but they do it in a way that's very appealing in and win some you and I think of Gary have mass. I think of Lee Strobel. Both these guys are powerhouse intellectuals. They are brilliant people, but there are some of the most approachable patient will I'll just say it Christlike people and I think that's what's made their their walking their witness so compelling, so we've got the call to do apologetics the mandate to defend the faith. Jude verse three says we are to earnestly contend for the faith, and that means diligently sincerely consistently. Let's take it back to one of my favorite New Testament characters. The apostle Paul that was only one Paul and he was definitely on apologist Romans 116 your member that verse Dylan, he says, for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For it is the power of God into salvation to everyone who believes Jews and Gentiles list about being unashamed of the gospel it in this culture, Dylan.

There's a lot of pressure to cave-in and to either be silent or even apologetic for what the word of God is clearly proclaimed yes and their different levels of this are different spheres. I guess you could say. And one of those is what we say on various social issues, and I understand there always be differences there, but this particular passage in Scripture.

Romans 116 speaks directly regarding the gospel.

We are called to be unashamed about the good news that Jesus Christ lived that he died that he was buried, and then he rose again and offers us eternal life if you say you are a Christian you must be unashamed about that message. That is what changes you and makes you a Christian and that is the message that we can offer that can change the lives of others that we have to start there with the good news of Jesus Christ above all other issues we talk about being unashamed. You know, I'm so glad you mentioned the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, which is the these are matters of historical record that Christ really did die on a real cross with real nails in his hands and feet. The punishment that we deserved was deflected onto Jesus, and if you will turn to Christ by faith and say Lord, I'm sorry for my sins.

Please save me, he will forgive you, you know, I want to say this about the gospel. The I was in Salt Lake City Utah last week and found myself in a debate on the radio with an atheist, and there were there were couple of things. He said that I thought were very interesting, but one of the things the atheist said was are you one of these people who believe that unless everybody agrees with what you say they would go to hell you look while we do believe it. It's not mere opinion. I mean, this is reality. It was Jesus the son of God who rose from the dead, and that lifts his word above the realm above the fray of human opinion or preference only because Christ said it its reality. Ultimately, it's Christ were the matters most and we see that in the word of God will talk more about this may come right back. So stick with the secure entry for new generation Christians don't necessarily agree with one another when it comes to questions of religious pluralism, homosexuality, the role of government proportioned in war. Too often, we manage these disagreements by ignoring them, yet were called to engage the world for the sake of Christ. How can we be effective if we avoid society's most pressing questions in 10 issues that divide Christians Alex McFarlane challenges us to drill down to the biblical core of 10 current issues such as social justice evil and suffering, photography, and environmentalism as he echoes the biblical invitation, this reason together only by engaging the Scriptures deeply thinking clearly and speaking truthfully can we, in God's family address our differences and discover the peace that comes with unity of purpose. 10 issues that divide Christians find this book and many others@alexmcfarlane.com.

If you're a Christian parent, you will of course want to instill a biblical view of life in the hearts of your children, your pastor, you want to offer ministry that draws young families to your church. This is Alex McFarlane encouraging you to check out my new book and video curriculum. The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask about Christianity. I interviewed hundreds of children ages 5 to 12 and we address actual questions from actual children. The spiritual issues that are on the minds of your kids the book and video lessons are great for groups of any size and was produced with the goal of equipping kids to stand strong for Christ in any situation.

The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask the book study guide and video series. You'll find it@afastore.net that AFA store.net. This is Dylan Alex McFarlane entry for new generation radio even talking about what apologetics is what is not and why it matters in Alex's we begin this next segment talk a little bit about what God is doing a treat for new generation, and I want to say how much we praise God for all this going on in this ministry to remind people coming up very quickly is my time in March of the Billy Graham training center at the Cove in western North Carolina. Very beautiful. I'll be there March 22-24. Doing Daniel and Revelation Bible prophecy does God write history in advance in the Billy Graham training center is just amazing.

Please go to the Cove.org. I would love to see you there Dylan. They tell me that to him about hundred and 70 people are signed up from all over America. They can take about 100 people more so it's going to be amazing and we look forward to meeting you and going through Bible prophecy together. One other thing that listen up carefully.

March 21 Greensboro, North Carolina I were going to have our ministries open house. We didn't do this every spring and I will be at the proximity hotel and restaurant. If you're coming in from out of town but will have an incredible evening together a great meal, great music, I'll be telling all about the ministry but from Fox news in New York City. My dear friend Todd Starnes will be there in person and you probably see him on Starnes country and so many other places. He speaks as a keynote forest and many of our conferences.

Todd Starnes and I together on the evening of March 21 in Greensboro will be doing our open house, so if you want to be a part of that to give you a little bit of contact listen very carefully. You can call 336-253-5102. That's 33625351022 Carla, our assistant shall be happy to take your name and would love to have you at the banquet and out a lot more to share, but we've got events all of the country this year and you don't want to miss out online via our app and through broadcasts. We are committed to take the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout this nation, and Dylan. You know a lot of what we do is apologetics. The evidence for the faith defending the faith, equipping young people to stand strong for the faith. But you know it seems like more and more we we find yourselves teaching churches and Christians just how to share the simple message of the gospel in.

I was just up in Ohio for one of our big events that will happen in November and in the Q&A with 65 pastors from all of the state of Ohio. These were great men and women of God.

But you know the need they were like, please just tell our people how to share the gospel personal evangelism and as much as we need to speak to the issues of our day friends.

I want to underscore that it is imperative, imperative that the church keep first and foremost Christ's great commission that we owned all the world and make disciples that we are able to share the gospel and so let me ask you, dear friend. And this is why this ministry exist if somebody sat down beside you and said please tell me how to become a Christian. Tell me how to receive Christ in my life. Are you prepared to do that in. I want to say this about church every member of a minister that really needs to be our mindset. Every member a minister because we are all called to play a part in Christ's great commission that includes evangelism includes apologetics to designate Dylan. Yes it does. And I love the passages shared earlier from first Peter 315.

It tells us to always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. Sometimes people get bogged down because they don't have the answers for people about creation or about the end times are some social issue that this passage focuses on the reason for the hope that is in you, that's the gospel of Jesus Christ. Salvation that is changed you. They can change someone else if you don't know where to begin.

Start with your own story her own testimony of how Jesus changed you made you alive again for gave your sins and gave the new life. If you start there that will open a door of discussion where you may not have all the answers but you have the answer that you're pointing them toward, which is Jesus Christ exactly and back to our verses about being ready to give an answer first Peter 315, making sure that by living right in modeling Christ likeness. Our life matches our words, the messenger is commensurate with the message that's first Peter 215.

Dylan must talk a little bit about what apologetics is and is not.

Apologetics is only give some statements and will will unpack them apologetics is a call for one's life to be as unassailable as our message.

Apologetics is a discipline that really flows out of worship for the Savior and apologetics is a ministry are really in which the practitioner himself or herself is a proof, a living proof for the fact to city of the gospel limits and what apologetics is not and will will come back to this apologetics is not apologizing for being a Christian is not saying I'm sorry, but it means to speak in defense of the faith to give the evidence apologetics is not an opportunity to put oneself up on a pedestal is out were not wanting people say wow what a smart Christian woman people to say wow what a great Savior.

Apologetics is not a pursuit in which intellectual rigor is a substitute for the cultivation of one's heart. I mean, you know what we are to learn and do it to know things and I think about Paul when he was at Mars Hill in acts 17. Clearly, he demonstrated a knowledge of the culture.

He demonstrated a knowledge of their religion false, though it was, he demonstrated a knowledge of literature and poetry, and government. See Paul was a fully orbed disciple and we are to be that to but in the quest for knowledge. Let's not forget wisdom which Proverbs 17 is the fear the Lord and apologetics is not a license to be abrasive or anything like that. It will come back to that with let's go back to what I said at first about what apologetics is so Dylan limits on the throw question and by the way, we were recording. In doing this he never knows what I'm gonna say he has an impact so I want you to comment on this and and the reason I throw it out there is because I know you're qualified to do it.

How could apologetics Dylan be an act of worship. Wow that's such a good perspective. This idea apologetics are defending your faith give an answer for your faith is an act of worship. It really is tied to the great commandment.

When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment. He said the love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind all your strength to love your neighbor as yourself. That idea of loving the Lord with all your mind incorporates knowing our faith in being able to communicate with others that one person may be able to do it more effectively than someone else, but we are all called to do it. One person may be more intellectual. Some people may do it to the arts. Others might be better sharing their own personal story that we all have a place at sharing the hope this within us that can change someone for eternity. And I know that we have so much more to say on this and we come back when unpack with this means on a practical level, we share our faith with others to stick with the circuitry for new generation. You know Alex is writing for many years, and one of his classic books is still great. Today is a basic introduction to the Christian faith. It's called stamp courtrooms must know for unshakable faith.

This book will help you help your teens get off the roller coaster of doubt onto solid ground will read about the six pillars of biblical Christianity.

They are one inspiration of the Bible to the virgin birth. Three. The deity of Christ for atonement.

Five.

Christ's resurrection and six. Christ's return know Alex mixes it up with humor and stories gleaned from decades of working with youth and encourages things to build a foundation of faith that will stabilize their lives and help them take a stand for Christ.

Simple and straightforward stand courtrooms.

You must go forward unshakable faith available wherever Christian books are so first Peter 315 tells us to be ready always to give an answer for the hope we have were instructed to be prepared to defend our faith. This is Alex McFarlane for the life answers teams students we train at North Greenville University, a leading Christian college in South Carolina. The life answers. Teams are made up of students who will inspire and equip your congregation.

These apologetics teams, we train speak in churches to youth groups and train Christians of all ages to address key issues of our times. From a biblical perspective like is there a God is the Bible true. What about gender and moral issues.

Call me at 864977 2008 and we will arrange for the life answers team to come to your church and give a presentation that will benefit your people for years to come. 864-977-2000 eight and always be ready to welcome back to P&G radio Alex McFarlane Dylan Burroughs by the way, you can now follow all of doing around the country@truthforanewgeneration.com my own website is Alex McFarlane.com and I got a lot of exciting speaking opportunities around the country and I hope to see you at many of them as you're able to come into come up and say hello. We would love to meet you and we deeply appreciate your prayers and support your Dylan before the break room talk about apologetics is an act of worship. And that reminds me of a panel that I was sitting on and there were a couple of Christians in a couple of skeptics and somebody asked me, they said, do not ever like in a lie awake at three in the morning and wonder you. What if there is no God or what if the Bible's falseness, and honestly I don't not because you know you know smart or anything like that is just you know there creation had to have a creator in the evidence for Jesus and the Bible is so compelling. What I do find myself pondering really. It's overwhelming is how he could love me as sinful as I am and have been, but he does love me. And isn't it amazing that Christianity is simple enough that a child can understand Jesus loves me this I know this profound enough that the greatest scholars of all time have just in law and worship, bowed and said, my Lord and my God you know Dylan you and I've been privileged to Know People Like William Ln., Craig and Josh McDowell and John Eichelberger mean we've been privileged, you and I both to hang around with some amazing men and women of God heavenly we have and what they notice. Over the years that those who last are those who are consistent in both their life and their message having someone can get up and give a great debate to defend a particular aspect of the Christian faith. But there's more to defending the faith in getting up and saying the right words yet to be able to live that out, and that's the hard part.

So many people start well maybe they accept Christ as a child and they're doing the right things as they grow up, and then somewhere along the way get off track and that is the hardest part.

I think for many of us as being able to faithfully endure and if you look at the New Testament.

So many of the apostle Paul's later writings were focused on faithfully enduring hardship as a Christian, faithfully living for Christ as a Christian and knowing that although we go through in this life is worth it because in the end we will be with Christ for eternity.

Everyone else that we talked to about the gospel who accepts Christ will be there with us as well. We know second Corinthians 10 five says that believers are to quote cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. And it like us that our true message must be delivered by equally authentic messengers and you know apologists can be very you know gifted at pulling down it invalid thoughts, but with equal zeal we are supposed to mortify ungodly actions.

Are we.

Romans 813 and it says bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. And don't you think that a godly life must be predicated upon Christ honoring thoughts and beliefs and we do that by filling our heart and our soul with the word of God will certainly if you wonder, how do I make my way. The right way that God wants. It's very clear you look at Psalm one it talks about focusing on God's word day and night is not about memorizing Scripture. Even reading ants about meditating upon it, and then living it out so as followers of Jesus Christ. If we want to know how to stay on that right path.

It's right there in God's word. But we have to take the time to focus on it and see how we can live it out our lives. And of course it's not just the word of God, but the spirit of God within us. We can do it on her own strength. We are not good enough. We are not powerful enough that Christ is saved as he is redeemed us and he's empowered us with a new spirit. They can help us do what he's called us to do.

It's not us doing in our own strength SS living in his strength and him working through us to change lives of others you know. Dylan sometimes people that they fill a little bit overwhelmed in there like you know I can't memorize evidence that demands a verdict in mere Christianity by CS Lewis is a little too complicated and and I and I get that, you know, really, to be a disciple is a lifelong commitment and I would say to be an evangelist into be a witness for Christ and to get involved in apologetics is a lifelong commitment.

And again.

It's the cultivation of the heart, not only the learning of the message and don't feel like you've got to read the complete works of Aquinas in on day one. Just start where you are and remember to read the word of God and then not only God's book, but read the good books and a Josh is written so many books Lee Strobel was written really good books. There are other apologists that we want you to know off like in a people like Mark Middleburgh and Dylan Burroughs and a lot of great authors thoughts don't think because you can't do everything that you shouldn't do anything because it might be that nugget you read that is the thing, God will use in your walk in your witness to point somebody around you to Jesus and that's well said. I think of another part that is been important to me over the years is that idea that God is called you to reach certain people that only you are called to reach their sometimes I share the gospel somebody and they turn it down. I think what I would've just done it better. They would've gone to heaven.

But because I messed up.

They're going to go to hell forever to be on my phone. Well, that's not how it works at all what you realizes God calls people to be part of the story along the way and then when those who are called to reach a certain person share the gospel person responds and heaven is more crowded and that should be our goal is it's not about who I lead to Christ if you you lead to Christ it's us living faithfully sharing the messages we are able being unashamed and watching God do his thing and when he works it's way better than anything we can ask or imagine or even plan in our wildest dreams and let me say this is will apologetics is not a license to be abrasive or to be curt with anybody.

The Bible says that we are his ambassadors. We are first Peter 315 that to share the gospel with gentleness and respect.

But Dylan I love and second Corinthians 520 is says we are ambassadors for Christ. Right now it is says this, we beseech you in Christ's stead, be reconciled to God. In other words, if Jesus himself were here he would say what we are saying know that God loves you know that your sins can be forgiven. Know that whatever you've done. Christ can wash away whatever's been done to you. He can heal and so really we in a very real sense as witnesses as Christians yeses defenders of the faith were Christ's messengers to this world come and be reconciled to God.

Yes, and many have said that you are the only Bible. Some people will read and if they are basing their decision on Jesus on their reading of the Bible and you, what would that look like I want to challenge you live for Christ today live fully for him being unashamed and sharing your faith see how God works.

Thanks for being with us a transferring agent and will be with you next time truth for a new in association with Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries exists to equip Christians with a local worldview through conferences and camps for information about upcoming events visit for a new generation.com or give us a call at 877 yes God one that's 877 yes, God in the number one TMG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries PO Box 10231, Borough, NC 27404. That's PO Box 10231, North Carolina 27404.

Give online@alexmcfarland.com or truth for a new generation.com. Thanks for listening and join us again next time.

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