Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Apologetics as an Education

Today is National Education Day in Indonesia. I am going to do my Apologetics Exam and has been learning for the last three days. As I open my handouts and try to review all the materials, I remember that today is to be grateful! Without God, there is no education both in Indonesia and all over the world. He is the one who started education. In Numbers 6, God commands Israelites to teach God's Word to their children day and night, whatever they do, whether at home or on journeys. In the New Testament, Jesus commands His disciple to go and make disciples and teach them.

So, I want to share a little bit about apologetics. What is apologetics? How does it become an education for people?

Apologetics comes from a Greek word, "apologia", which means "to give a reason or defense".

"But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (respect)" 1 Peter 3:15 [NASB]

But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts:
Submit your heart (both intellectual and feeling) to God. Let him cleanse and purify you so that you may be holy. What is holiness? It is when Christ is in you. He has to be bigger that people could see him in you.

Always being ready:
We don't always know when people will ask or when we have to explain and answer people about or faith in Christ Jesus. We have to be ready anytime. How do we ready? We need spiritual discipline in build our personal relationship with God through worship, prayer, and Bible reading. Academic discipline is also needed. I suggest you learn and read a lot of theology books. If you have an opportunity to take some theology class, it would be better. You can also take apologetics class.

To make a defense:
Be ready to answer how and why do you believe in Jesus. That's very important. Your own faith will be shown as an evidence that our God is exist and He is the true and only God.

To everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.
Everyone arounds you: family, relatives, friends, collageous, coworkers, etc. They need your accountability for the hope of Christ that is in you. Be a witness for God and testify about Him.

Yet with gentleness and respect:
Don't force people to belive in what you say about Christ and Bible Truths. Your arguments are not that important. It is more important to get people's heart can be touched.

Both you and I are apologists. We are standing to defend our Christian faith, not because Jesus Christ needs  people to support Him, but because we love Him and wants people to know Him.

How do we defend our Christian faith? These are 10 guidelines from Matt Slick:

  1. Pray
  2. Memorize Scripture
  3. Memorize the locations of information
  4. Listen to what is being said to you (listen to the questions behind questions! Often, the problem is not about the doctrines but the people's heart)
  5. Don't interrupt (show your respect)
  6. Don't be afraid to make mistakes (trust that God is in control!)
  7. Study what you discover you don't know
  8. Don't be afraid to take a chance (there is not always a second chance to take)
  9. Rehearse
  10. Read books that deal with what you need to know
From my perspective: apologetics as an education
You can't defend your Christian faith without challenging people to think about their own belief or/and Christian faith. For almost 3 years studying in Teachers College, I learn that the best way to educate your students is to make them actively think and learn. Ravi Zacharias said that apologetics is to help the thinker believe, and the believer think.We cannot just have faith in Christ, believe without thinking. That's not what God wants. He wants us to also clearly understand about our faith. God is make sense. As we learn deeper into God's Word, we learn to love Him with all our minds.

When Jesus said that The Holy Spirit would come to us, He said that The Holy Spirit will teaches us. See how God is concern with education. Education about all truth is God's truth. This is the foundation of all knowledges. Remember the Proverbs 1:7 that fear of the Lord is the beginning of the knowledge.

This is my pray: may you grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I hope one day you will teach and educate people to love God with all of their hearts, minds, strengths, and souls.

My materials for today's exam is not this short. But this is a little part that I can share. Hope you'll be blessed. :)

PS: this picture is added after my exam. This is my apologetics class with my lecturer, Tracy Trinita.

1 comment:

Paulus Teguh said...

There is one very important purpose of apologetics, especially in a country like indonesia, where Christian is a minority.

In indonesia, many moslems think that Christian is a stupid religion; irrational, has so many contradictions, etc.

Our task is to show them that Christianity isn't as stupid as they think. That's why we must do apologetics, to show them that we can answer their attacks, their questions. So they would think that Christian is a rational religion; and even more, trans-rational. Then we can hope that they would think "maybe Christian is really a truth?"

William Lane Craig explained it in his book. I posted so many apologetics article in my blog for this purpose too. :)

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