The first time I heard the word “apologetics” used in Christian circles, I immediately thought to myself… “we don’t have anything to apologize for – this is weak to be talking this way!” But the word “apologetics” comes from the Greek word meaning ready to give an answer ἕτοιμοι πρὸς ἀπολογίαν – [apologian]
Lit., ready for an answer. Answer is our word apology, not in the popular sense of excuse, but in the more radical sense of defense. So it is translated Acts 22:1, Philippians 1:7, Philippians 1:16. Clearing of yourselves, 2 Corinthians 7:11. (Vincent’s Word Studies – www.biblehub.com)
The highlight verse for Apologists (those who make it their living to defend the faith) is 1 Peter 3:15. Look at how a few different versions translate the truth found here:
1 Peter 3:15 (New International Version)
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
1 Peter 3:15 (New Living Translation)
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.”
1 Peter 3:15 (Contemporary English Version)
“Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope.”
1 Peter 3:15 (Amplified Bible)
“But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.”
Let’s inductively parse the verse. What are we asked to do?
Is the “order” of doing these things important? Why?
What does “readiness” entail?
What conditions need to exist in “us” before God puts us into these situations?
Describe the attitude we are to have when we defend the faith.
Describe the intellectual tone of our defense.
Write a prayer in response to 1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, …
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.