I have met a lot of people who are deeply passionate about apologetics (defending Christianity). Through those relationships, I have had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting people who are adamant about merely arguing. Fighting to fight, bickering to bicker.
They don’t have an end in sight, they are just looking for an argument to be had.
Apologetics also is not about how much you know. Anyone can engage in apologetics, no matter their education level.
How, you ask?
Well, quite simply, there are a lot of people who ask great questions and it leads to a lot of great conversations which is a spark to education. Conversations, relationships, and authenticity play a bigger role than head knowledge and sharp debate tactics when it comes to apologetics. That’s not to say knowledge isn’t important, it certainly is, but there needs to be a personal level established before one goes forward and carpet bombs their opponent into submission.
This is a lesson that had taken me a while to learn. While I tried to be courteous, I always placed the “W” above the relationship. Bad move. I always placed my image about God’s image. Even worse move. This, friends, is what being honest is about.
Apologetics isn’t merely about winning an argument, it’s about bringing God’s kingdom to earth and show people who he is, answering questions, and yes, building relationships, even with non-believers. Now, that may sound like evangelism, and that’s because it is. Apologetics and is an arm of evangelism and one that ought to be used more, but not overused.
Ever meet someone who just found out about wine 5 minutes ago and now they’re an expert? Budding apologists do that to, sometimes.
I’m guilty of that.
There is always someone who knows a little more about a niche topic than you, which is great. That’s a learning opportunity and ought not to be viewed as a discouragement. Don’t be discouraged when you’re at a disadvantage. Nothing good will happen when you answer a disadvantage with discouragement.
Don’t argue for the sake of arguing. Argue out of the fruit of the Spirit, out of the righteousness of Christ, argue out of the love of the God—a love that we should also show towards his creation.