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Home The Light Articles from 2001 Arguments and Evidence

Arguments and Evidence

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Arguments and Evidence

The English word "apology" derives from the Greek apologia, which means to "defend" or "make a defense." Various Biblical writers acknowledged the legitimacy of such activity. The apostle Peter, for example, wrote: "But sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer [Greek, apologian] to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15).

Paul, in his epistle to the Philippians, stated that he was "...set for the defense [Greek, apologian] of the Gospel" (Philippians 1:16). Paul’s writings, in fact, teem with sound arguments that provide a rational undergirding for his readers’ faith. Christianity is not some kind of vague, emotionally-based belief system intended for unthinking simpletons. Rather, it is a logical system of thought that may be both defended and accepted by analytical minds.

In any defense of Christianity, a variety of evidence may be employed. Of course, the Bible contains it’s own internal proofs and evidences, but apart from this, such evidence may be derived from science, philosophy, or history, to list just a few examples. It is not uncommon to hear someone mention studies from within the field of "Christian evidences." Such terminology simply is a reference to an examination of the evidences establishing Christianity as the one true religion of the one true God. Regardless of the source or nature of the evidence, however, the ultimate goal is to substantiate the case for the existence of God, the inspiration of the Bible, the deity and Sonship of Christ, the validity of the creation account found in Genesis 1-2, etc.

Much of the evidence attending the truthfulness of Christianity can be examined within broad categories such as those just listed. But these do not tell the whole story, for within each major area of study there are important subcategories that offer additional insight.

An illustration of this point would be a study of the inspiration of the Bible. It is possible to examine various arguments that establish the Bible as being God’s inspired Word. Generally speaking, however, such a study may not examine such things as alleged internal contradictions, supposed historical inconsistencies, and other such matters. In order to respond to such charges, one must "dig a little deeper" into the evidence at hand.

The same is true of the evidence that establishes the case for the existence of God. It is not a difficult task to assemble evidence that represents a compelling case for God’s existence. Yet that evidence often may not touch on other equally important matters that have to do with God’s personality and character (e.g., things like His eternality, His justice, His relationship to other members of the Godhead, etc.). Information on these topics must be derived from separate, independent studies.

In any case, make no apology for your apology (apologia)–or, to put it in our everyday vernacular, we must never say we are sorry for the defense and proofs we offer for our faith, our God, the Bible, etc. Christians are bound before God to defend the truth of the Word of God. Speak the truth in love as Ephesians 4:15 requires, but every Christian has the responsibility to be "set for the defense of the gospel," just as was the apostle Paul. –Adapted

 

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