Q&A

Why use the word "apologetic" if you aren't apologizing for anything?

By October 31, 2014 One Comment

Full Question

Is there some reason why you have to use the word “apologetics” to describe defending the faith, when our English language has thousands of other words that don’t sound like you’re sorry for something? I’m a Catholic defender, not an apologist.

Answer

One can certainly sympathize with your reaction. It’s a tricky call sometimes when trying to figure out whether to fish or cut bait on using a particular term. If there’s no good synonym, sometimes you have to stick with what you have and try to popularize an awareness of what it does signify.
In the present environment, the alternatives to apologist are problematic.Defender makes it sound like you have a chip on your shoulder.Controversialist makes you sound quarrelsome. And evidencer isn’t a real word.
Fortunately, the term apologetics seems to be gaining in popular currency. In the last couple of years it has been cropping up–of all places–on political commentary shows, where it is being used in a secular context (e.g., calling someone an apologist for thus-and-such political position). Perhaps if people learn what it means in a secular context, they’ll be more prepared when they encounter it in a religious one.

One Comment

  • Mario Simonelli says:

    “knowledge makes arrogant but love edifies” I was appointed for the defence of the gospel and my book “The Way God Told It” is the proof of my arrogance. However I am in good company, for Jesus was considered arrogant and they killed Him. Paul was also considered arrogant and they persecuted him and killed Him, Stephen, the first martyr was also considered arrogant and they stoned him to death. The persecutors and murderers were all religious devotees, whom did not see the love of the knowledge of God that in each case was offered to them. But prefered to see it as an arrogant rant. We read in Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LOrd is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” The following is an article in my book.
    In Galatians 3:13 I have found lies about my Lord and about His accomplished works, for it reads: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’”
    It is ludicrous to say that He redeemed us from the curse of the law by allowing Himself to become a curse for us, just by dying while hanging on a tree.
    Before we go any further it is important for us to understand that the tree is only a tool to administer death to a condemned man. We must surely know that it is the sins that the man has committed that makes him accursed and not the way he dies. That is why the law became a curse for us, because we could not keep it and consequently we merited death because of our transgressions, not because the law in itself was bad. (So death is not a curse, but it’s the consequence of sin).
    He came to fulfil the law for us and by fulfilling the law He absorbed the law in Himself. Therefore He became a blessing for us, because He freed us from the curse of the law written on tablets of stone, having replaced them with the law of the spirit of Himself (the Holy Spirit). I am fully convinced that it is correct for the above verse of Galatians 3:13 to read: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having fulfilled the law for us.”
    We all know that our Lord became flesh for us and consequently He was made sin, because the flesh and sin are one and the same. Also our Lord (who is a type of Adam) took those of us who are faithful in Himself on the cross. He also took the sin of the whole world on the cross for the justification of all humanity as He fulfilled the law by being obedient even to death. But none of the above is a curse in itself. However, the law became a curse to us because we could not keep it. By doing all of the above He became a blessing for all those who believe and obey Him.
    We would certainly and clearly see the error if we read Deuteronomy 21:23 in context with verse 22. We will then discover that part of verse 23 doesn’t apply to our Lord, for we read in Deuteronomy 21: 22-23: “And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, (23) his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.” We can all sorely see that the above scripture of verse 23 doesn’t apply to our Lord because our Lord was not guilty of having “committed a sin worthy of death,” required in the previous verse. In fact He was sinless, regardless of how He appeared to those who witnessed, or condemned Him to death. (Yes, He was made sin but never committed sin. Isn’t that something that we should rejoice about? For by doing that, Jesus stripped sin of the power of the law.)
    Furthermore the testimony of 1Corinthians 12:3 reinforces that He didn’t become accursed for it is written: “That no one speaking by the spirit of God says, Jesus is accursed.” With those indisputable proofs in hand we should only come to one obvious conclusion: that the Scriptures suggesting that our blessed Lord become a curse for us is nothing but a “blasphemous diversion” working against the knowledge of the accomplished works of our Lord.
    If you are not yet convinced, I would suggest that you insert the corrected verse in Galatians 3:13 and judge it in context and you will see that the whole chapter, and indeed all of Galatians, is explaining to us how the curse of the law has been replaced by having faith in the grace of Christ, who paid the price for us by enduring the brutal sufferings of the cross and yet died sinless. He thus fulfilled the law for us, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith in Him. Read 1Corinthians 15:55-57 and you will see that death and sin are defeated by the fulfilment of the law and not by Christ’s dying hanging on a tree. Read Romans 5:17-21 and you will also see that through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men; even so, the total obedience to the law of one Man resulted in justification of life to all men.
    It is vital that all believers understand the book of Galatians, which explains faith in the grace of Christ in contrast to the works of the law. Satan knows that and so he uses all means in order to defend the written ambiguity, which clearly denigrates the character of our God, the accomplished works of our Lord, and the character and epistles of His apostles.
    I do not need to apologize for the above article, for I am defending why the gospel “Jesus” came among us.

Leave a Reply Brethren !