We just wrapped up the first half of our school of apologetics! In the past, all of our apologetics training—known as Defining and Defending the Faith—was compressed into one week of teaching. Now the instruction is broken up across two weeks. Week One, which we’ve just finished, is Defining the Faith! Defining the Faith is an immersive week-long exposition of the Apostle’s Creed—defining Christianity from an apologetics perspective. Chapel staff, and youth from Chapel Hill Reformed Church, spent hours every day soaking up tons of helpful material. But here at the Chapel, we don’t just get to hear the how of apologetics, we get to apply it every night on the boardwalk.
Even if apologetics isn’t someone’s forte, it is still important for every believer to hear the defenses of Christianity. That way, they can have the assurance in the knowledge that there are satisfying answers to every attack on Christianity.
“Apologetics training is definitely for every Christian….because even if you don’t use it, it’s going to strengthen your own faith to know that no other worldview or religion works on its own,” said Sawyer Weirsma, who serves on the Boardwalk Chapel’s evangelism team.
Certainly not everyone has to be an expert at apologetics. At the Chapel, Pastor Jim always maintains that you can’t reason someone into the kingdom of heaven. Why? Because the problem of the unbeliever “is not intellectual, but moral.” Even if provided with every evidence and proof, the reprobate sinner will not be willing to believe unless the Holy Spirit changes his heart through the hearing of the Gospel. The goal is always to use apologetics to reinforce the Gospel, but never to take away the focus from it.
Apologetics is a tool, a powerful tool, to strip away doubts and legitimate questions, and point people to the Cross. It should never be used as a weapon to try to coerce someone into Christianity, as if that were even possible. That is why when we engage with unbelievers on the boardwalk, apologetics is used in conjunction with the Gospel, with the Gospel being repeated again and again. The Gospel is what God ultimately uses to transform hearts and minds. For that reason, every time we go out and share the Gospel, whether apologetics become necessary or not, every effort should be covered in prayer.
Let us always be ready to use reason and logic to answer the questions and doubts of unbelievers, tearing down all obstacles to faith except for their hearts of stone. And while we do this, praying to God that he will break down that last barrier—the unrepentant heart—so that they too in the last Day may confess Christ, not only as Lord, but also as Savior.