What is the best method of apologetics? Dr. John Fesko shares three principles to keep in mind when defending the faith.
What is the best method of apologetics? We want to focus on some key principles to engage with when we defend the faith.
Christians Must Base Their Apologetic Method on the Bible
We always want to found our apologetic method on the authority of the Scriptures.The first is that we always want to found our apologetic method on the authority of the Scriptures. If the Scriptures are a powerful sword, a double-edged sword dividing between soul and spirit, bone and marrow as we read in Hebrews 4, then we can recognize that this is going to be the most powerful weapon in our arsenal. If the Word of God is what created the heavens and the earth and everything that we see around us, and it’s what raises people from death to life, then this is what we need to use as our chief authority as we defend the faith.
Christians Should Use Both Special and General Revelation
The entire creation gives witness and testimony to God’s existence, to who he is.A second point that we need to keep in mind is that we want to use not only the book of Scripture, but we also want to recognize, as the Belgic Confession speaks of in Article 2, that God has written another book: the book of creation around us. The entire creation gives witness and testimony to God’s existence, to who he is. It reveals his wisdom. And in particular, it was Calvin who says that with the spectacles of Scripture, in other words, by putting on the corrective lenses of Scripture, we can look out into the creation aright. We can see the artistry, the beauty, the majesty of God’s creation, and that all people ultimately, because they are created in the image of God, recognize these things, and so we should appeal to them. We should use both of God’s books, both the Scriptures and the book of creatures.
Unbelievers Are Also Made in the Image of God
A third and final point we would want to note is we always want to approach apologetics, as we approach unbelievers, with the knowledge that they are made in the image of God. If they are made in the image of God, this means that they have the knowledge of God written upon their hearts. They have the law of God, as Paul says in Romans 2:14–15, inscribed upon their hearts. They, by nature, do what the law requires. So if they know God because they are image bearers, and if they have his knowledge written upon their hearts, then this means that we can and should appeal to this knowledge, despite the fact that they might try to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. If we appeal to them and we show them how they truly do know God, this ultimately can be another powerful weapon in our apologetics arsenal.
So resting on the authority of Scripture, appealing to God’s books, the books of nature and Scripture, and then appealing to the fact that unbelievers as well as believers are image bearers. These three things, I think, make for a sound apologetic methodology.