With a majority of churchgoing teenagers abandoning the faith in college, there is one thing us teenagers need more than ever: Apologetics.
Apologetics is the rational defense of the Christian faith– using logic to defend the core teachings of Christianity: the existence of God, the authority of Scripture, the resurrection of Jesus and the gospel itself.
Here are five reasons why I believe we as Christian teens need apologetics.
1. Studying apologetics gives us a solid foundation for the rest of our lives
Imagine you’re at college and your professor argues that God doesn’t exist. By taking the time to study the main arguments for God’s existence– as well as the weaknesses in the “proofs” of atheism– your faith won’t be shaken when challenges inevitably come your way. You’ll be able to make a strong case for Christianity.
If you wander through your teenage years without taking the time to find solid answers, you can be completely shaken the moment a challenge to your faith arises. By studying apologetics for yourself, rather than blindly accepting what your parents or pastors teach (as precious as your Christian heritage is), you build a strong foundation to stand through college, the workplace, and every stage of life.
2. Studying apologetics is commanded by God
Jude 1:3b says, “Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” And, more famously, 1 Peter 3:15 reads, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”.
The Bible teaches us to defend our faith with reason, love, and passion. When we study apologetics, we follow his call to live as valiant defenders of the faith.
3. Studying apologetics promotes gospel-shaped lives
We cannot truly live for God unless we know truth about him. Our beliefs dictate how we live. So as you dig into apologetics, you’ll learn both who God is and how he calls you to live as a result.
If you want to take a week-long backpacking trip, you should definitely be reading lots of books and learning how to backpack, what gear you need, how to find food and water in an emergency, and what to do if and when something goes wrong.
If you want to follow someone, you’re going to need to study, to dig deep, and to read.
4. Studying apologetics equips us to share our faith
When we study apologetics, we learn the solid, logical reasoning behind Christianity and are equipped to share our faith with deeper passion, clarity, and conviction. Of course, no fancy argument or deep passion can save anyone– only God saves.
Apologetics is not an excuse to show off or be mean to people who don’t share your beliefs– it’s a tool you can use to share your faith with reason, gentleness, and respect. Failing to show gentleness and respect in our apologetics is a form of lying as we speak the truth because we’re speaking truth with arrogance and indifference.
Understanding Christian truth enables us to share the faith with confidence, gentleness, and respect (1 Peter 3:15b) knowing that our faith is not based on feelings but on facts.
5. Studying apologetics brings us joy
You’re only joyful in God when you know him. Studying apologetics deepens your knowledge of God, and as a Christian, enriches your joy and love for him.
If you tell your friend that you are totally obsessed with cheesecake but never take the time to eat it, learn anything about it, or dig deeper into the grand cheesecake universe, wouldn’t he question whether you actually care about cheesecake? You simply can’t claim to love something or someone if you have no desire to know and learn more each day.
Being happy in God comes from learning about him, “chewing” on his Word, and enriching your understanding of the truth found in him alone.
Teenager, study apologetics.
Study apologetics for truth, for life, for evangelism, for your joy, and to know God himself.