One class that I’ve had the opportunity to teach at Boyce College often is Christian apologetics. Interwoven with philosophy and theology, apologetics utilizes the tools provided by philosophers and theologians to provide a defense of the Christian faith. Further, apologists over the centuries have also provided believers reassurance for the beliefs of Christianity. Christians over the ages have rightly taken up Peter’s call in 1 Peter 3:15 to be ready to give an answer for our hope that is in Christ.
While I enjoy going over the various apologetical arguments with my students, I’ve become increasingly aware of the reality that knowing the various arguments is not enough when addressing an unbeliever. Nor is nailing down one apologetical method over another the answer to doing effective apologetics. It seems that lost in the wealth of apologetical resources at our fingertips is the heart of apologetics. That is, the manner in which we are to do apologetics.
Thankfully, Peter helps us here. 1 Peter 3:15 is commonly known as the clarion call to be ready to give an answer for the faith. Yet, Peter does so much more in this passage. Peter’s call to action in verse 15 is couched between three important characteristics that ought to define the Christian when doing apologetics. When we see Peter’s call in light of verses 15 and 16, and in the wider context of the epistle, we see that how we do apologetics matters just as much as the content of our apologetics.
To see how Peter instructs us in the manner of our apologetics, check out my recent article at Southern Equip: “3 Ways the Gospel Changes Apologetics.”