Apologetics isn’t the art of saying I’m sorry, but it is giving a reasoned defense of something. Scott Oliphint defined Christian apologetics as “the application of biblical truth to unbelief.”
In 1 Peter 3:15, we read that Christians must “…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…”. The phrase “to give an answer” is translated from the Greek phrase pros apologian, which is where our English word apologetics comes from. Peter is calling all Christians to be apologists, or that we should all be able to defend and give a statement of what we believe to those who don’t.
Jesus gave his church a mission in Matthew 28:18-20. We are to go, preach, teach, and make disciples. This verse is not only for missionaries who go to foreign fields. The call to go is for all Christians. The call is to take the gospel with us as we go, wherever we go. We go to work, or go to our neighbors house, we go to the store, we go to the ball game, we go all over the place and speak with people who don’t know Jesus. We go to school, we go to biology class, we go and look at solar eclipses. We talk with people about the weather that God controls, and politics, which God ordains. We discuss how elusive turkeys are and the nature of whitetails, all God’s designs. We are in constant conversation with people about God’s world. The way we look at God’s world and how we act in a fallen world communicates our Biblical view of life. Biblical truth is not confined to the church walls, true belief will work itself out in our lives. Naturally, our view of the world will be different than unbelievers because our belief is informed by God’s word. When you have differences with someone, you have discussions. Discussions will (or can) lead to the big questions of life and Peter says that the Christian needs to be ready to give those answers.
We don’t need to have the answer so we can win arguments. We need to be ready to tell people about the hope we have. Gospel hope isn’t a wish, like “I hope this is true” but a confident faith in God’s promises. Christian hope is not blind faith, but faith in God’s Word. We trust God and His promises. We have confidence that God has done what he promised to do. We have the assurance that Christ Jesus redeemed us with his precious blood. We have hope that He will return. We have assured confidence that He gives eternal life to all who put their hope and trust in His finished work. We can be certain in trying times. We can be joyful in difficult situations. We can be loving to our enemies, and compassionate and merciful to the wicked. We do this because of the hope that is within us.