Graphic shows a race / ethnicity survey question with many options, including Black, White, Native American, Chinese, Korean, etc. In this case, “Other” has been selected and “Child of God *” has been entered below.
The asterisk reads: “* The idea of ‘race’ is a lie from the pit of hell. Straight up demonic. Its fruit is division. This is the opposite of ‘one in Christ.’ There is one race; the human race. Melanin is brown; you either have a little or a lot. If our Father is not a respecter of persons [Acts 10:34-35], He is certainly not a respecter of skin color. Since we don’t see it in Him, we’re not to see it in ourselves; we’re made in His image.”
I’m betting Adam and Eve were of one skin color, since they were of one flesh (Genesis 2:22). That means skin color variances–like other environmental adaptations–came after the Fall.
The notion of different races is a demonic construct. We’re all born out of the physical lineage of Adam and Noah (Luke 3:23-38), and believers are born again into spiritual adoption through Jesus Christ, by faith (Romans 8:14-17). This is not to say we are all the same. Some are hands, feet, mouths, etc. (1 Corinthians 12:12-26).
Let’s get our eyes off our skin and get our eyes on Him.
Recently, a question was posed to me about the advancement of technology in the housing finance industry. The question was based upon a few paragraphs from a recent news blast by the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA).
(And before I get much further, let me acknowledge this post won’t be a typical post for the Levaire blog. Stay with me. I’ll bring it home; promise.)
The NCSHA paragraphs in question:
One major driver of disruption across these areas, which Mehlman forecasts will continue its astonishing acceleration, is technology.
What does it mean for housing? Craig Phillips, counselor to U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, alluded to one important domain in his remarks at that same NCSHA board meeting: the rapid growth of nonbank financial (“fintech”) firms. Phillips cited Treasury’s report released last summer, “Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation,” which includes more than 80 recommendations to Congress and bank regulators.
The Treasury report notes that while the housing finance industry “has been slow to adopt innovations common in other consumer credit markets…the application of financial technology in the mortgage market is accelerating, challenging existing norms as the industry transitions toward automated, digital practices and processes that appeal to customer demands in today’s digital age.”
The question was, “Really? Been slow to be technologically savvy with mortgages?” It was a question of disbelief, as the evidence of mortgage calculators, online applications and automated eligibility tools seems ubiquitous in this market.
My response was complete agreement, however. For this industry and others, I believe the adoption of technology has been slow, but I think the question can only be answered by looking at where technology is going globally; not by looking at a single industry.
Just as we can’t see how large a forest is by standing in the middle of it, we won’t be able to glean an accurate perspective of an industry’s technological pace by only looking at the industry itself.
What Might the Future Hold?
I think the bleeding edge here looks like artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced vetting and blockchain contractual/financial transactions, which are still in their infancy. Give it a couple years. As the lines between individual privacy, identification (for the US, this means Real ID by 2020, but we’re certainly trailing in the lemming line behind countries like Estonia and Sweden), banking, credit, EMR, retail and Lord-only-knows-what-else continues to blur, I think we’ll see a quickening.
Initially, I think this movement will be pitched under language that looks like the 10th recommendation in Treasury’s document, per Appendix B, page 198: “standardization of data elements as part of improving consumers’ access to their data.”
Translation: We’re doing this for our beloved customers.
Oh, and AI? That’s on page 200:
Translation: We want an open door.
In respect to housing, I think we’ll eventually see mortgage transactions opened and closed within moments; not weeks or months.
Once all your financial, medical and otherwise personal history is “blockchained” to your bodily person, an AI-driven decision based on your social credit score should be pretty easy (but social credit scores are only in China, right?)
Though this NCSHA article points to slow movement by the financial industry, I’m sure Citi and Chase are planning 20-30 years ahead or more, which easily puts them 10-15 years ahead of most state and local governments.
On that note, back around 2005, I was sitting down to lunch with a government sales rep from Intel when he told me Intel had their eyes on wifi-speed cellular towers. Fast-forward to today, this technology is currently being rolled out under the ‘5G’ moniker and is a key component in the encroaching Internet of Things (IoT).
Bringing It Home
As blockchain and AI improves and infiltrates with the help of quantum computing (Dan 12:4), I think innovation will be led by private-sector (yes, even the financial industry,) fueled by a mix of global competition on the world stage, targeted government contracts and a race toward the gold of data-mining and consolidation.
Then we simply add a dash of cashless society (Rev 13:17), a teaspoon of deep-state bio-metric surveillance (Rev 13:16) and sprinkle a some CRISPR-ish gene-editing (Rev 9:6) to taste.
Sounds like some loose-nut conspiracy theory, right? If these events weren’t unfolding before our very eyes, I mean.
We are in a time of convergence. Eyes and ears open, folks.
As you look, I see you searching for that one thing that can fulfill you.
You look at clothes and try to find the perfect item.
You find it; it looks great. You buy it.
Two months from now, it’s just another shirt or pair of shoes in your closet.
I see you looking, climbing that corporate ladder because when you reach vice president you think you will fulfill your dream.
After 10 years of hard work and sacrifice you finally made it.
Then one year later, you feel unfulfilled and want to be president of your own company.
I see you looking, thinking that winning the lottery will fulfill you.
But the $10,000 you just spent left you wanting more.
I see you looking thinking that a great steak or Chicago-style pizza, or backyard barbecue will satisfy, but hours after you’re full, you’re hungry again.
It’s like the Rolling Stones said: I can’t get no satisfaction.
I see you looking as you walk by our stand. In your head, you are saying I don’t need that. It’s just like I once thought, “That’s for the weak, the stupid, the gullible, because there is no God.”
I see you looking!
Now you are here looking to drink, eat, chill or find that perfect somebody.
Can’t you see these things don’t satisfy forever?
God put eternity in your heart. The hole you’re trying to fill cannot be filled with things or people. You have been on the treadmill of life chasing a carrot just out of reach, thinking—if you got it—you would be satisfied.
It’s a lie.
It is what you are rejecting is the only thing that can fulfill your soul. Nothing is eternal but God. Only He can fill us. It is God who must become a part of your life.
I hope you see now or you will keep searching and, when you die, you will be without Him.
You are like a son or daughter who was adopted at birth and felt things were not right. Then the knowledge comes that you were adopted and your birth parents were out there, so now you are searching.
But God didn’t abandon you.
He made you and loves you and desires that you come home to Him. It was our sin that separated us from God. You were born into it and by choice of your sin you were kept from our loving Father God. So the Father sent His son, Jesus, to bring us back together. He sent Him to take away the barrier between us and Him; our sin.
Since we all have lied, that makes us a liar.
Since we have stolen, regardless of size, that makes us a thief.
Since we have had sex or looked with lust outside of marriage, we are adulterers of heart and body.
Even if we have done just one thing wrong that separates you from God.
Jesus came to live a perfect life; a life without sin. Then Jesus died for all the sins that we committed. He was placed on a cross to be crucified and after three days He rose from the grave.
So for you and I to be complete, we must believe He died for us. Be willing to turn from sin. Believe that He rose from the grave. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and receive Him as your Lord and Savior. You will be forgiven. You will receive eternal life and be restored into an eternal relationship with GOD, your Father.
It all starts with a prayer like this from your heart:
“Jesus, I am a sinner. I cannot save myself. I turn from my sin and believe that you died for me on the cross to take away my sins. I believe that, after three days, you rose from the dead. I believe you are my Savior and my Lord. I now follow you and give you the rest of my days. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
If you have prayed that from your heart and have confessed Jesus as your Lord, your sins are forgiven and you have been adopted into the family of God. You are complete in Christ and have been made a new person.
You are now a son or daughter of God.
Now to understand what God has done for you and the relationship He has with you, please read your Bible and pray to Him. Go to a Bible-believing church to fellowship with other believers. Go out and tell others about Him, as we have you.
Your looking is over. You have found eternal life in Jesus.
I have had persons who argue for liberal rights give me this answer as to when life begins, but is this true? A direct quote:
“As for when life begins, it begins when the child is viable outside the womb without having to subsist on the female body for support. There are many tenets of Christianity that bothers the heck out of me. It’s ok to force a woman to bear a child, but those same individuals who would regulate my body and medical decisions have no responsibility to care for it afterwards. Its ok, to force a woman to bear another person (which incidentally is slavery and violates our 14th amendment rights) but it’s not ok for her to say that’s NOT ok for her body, or to realize it’s too much for her psyche after it has begun, which does happen. Even animals recognize when they are sick and will terminate pregnancies early for their health. I believe strongly in individual rights and those of self-care of the woman, as less men care for me than they would themselves, so I have my duty to do so for me. I owe no-one else a thing in this life, much less accountability about my physical person. Now, that is not to say I would ever make this personal choice as I love others and I love children, but I also choose not to dominate others with my religious beliefs as certain Christians deem proper thru law.. My love is appropriate to me and not my will on others. I also do not believe in using them as a means of birth control. Self-defense is self-defense even if you don’t agree with how the person protects themselves (for example, not bearing the body of another and risking your your life or mental state) because it affects someone elses religious sensibilites.. it may not be their religion, it may just be something less than human until its born.”
“Thats what I meant by comparing killing a person in self-defense, to having an abortion.”
Let me ask you an honest question; I hope it will help you grasp what you said.
When did your life begin?
Mine began in my mother’s womb.
Mine began when the sperm and the egg joined together.
If my parents did not have sex I would not be a person. My parents chose to have sex and were never forced to have sex. The only way I would not be born after the egg and the sperm joined together would be if something went wrong or someone or something interrupted the growth cycle of my early development.
We must also ask when is a growing fetus not a human child? The answer is never. We are always in stages of development. Children live outside of the womb who are three or four months old.
Someone may say, “Well, fetuses are dependent upon someone.” Yes, children are dependent upon someone to live, just like all new-born children and every one-year old, two-year old, four-year old and up.
So to use logic that says a baby still in utero is not a child until they’re born because they’re dependent cannot be right. A young human life is always dependent upon a grown up, so is not wise to use this type of logic.
A two-year old needs his mom too.
Using this logic, should we be able to kill the two-year old child since he still needs his mom? For us to choose to terminate a child before it is born does not change that it was a developing child any more than it does to kill a two-year old under the same pretense.
Abortion as self-defense?
Now, let’s look at the last part of this logic: that people are forced to take care of a child that they did not want merits self-defense. That this child was forced into me so I need to kill and remove it.
First, let’s be honest. A person almost always has the choice to have sex or not with another person.
Most people beyond a 4th grade education know sexual union can produce a life as it’s the God-given process most people were brought into the world (aside from some newer, modern science techniques.)
Yes, a person choosing to engage in sexual union outside a marriage commitment may decide afterwards they don’t want to be with this person so they terminate the life inside them. That’s not self-defense. Who forced you to have sex?
You had a chance to “defend yourself” by saying no, right?
If you use this logic, the real problem becomes that unwritten law that says that we can have sex when we want and with whom we want. Especially throughout the West, peddled largely through Hollywood and social media, we are told we have an unhindered right to sex.
But the GOD who created us calls this fornication.
It is sex outside of marriage where we first disobey God. Marriage with a person who is committed to us for life is beautiful.
The first variable in this equation is that we have done wrong by having sex as we chose—outside of marriage. Plus, now we want to kill the child because of our willful “mistake”! This math doesn’t work.
As we approach this subject on abortion, I want to say there is hatred on both side of this issue. Some groups have the view that it is the woman’s right to choose and no one should interfere with that choice. Another group says that abortion is murder, and they have no tolerance for an opposing argument. Both of these camps, when let out of their cages, go at each other like two pit bulls in a fighting arena. Is there a middle ground? Or will there always be no agreement on this issue? As Christians and light to the world, where are we to stand on this issue?
I personally have strong beliefs on this issue, but my beliefs are nothing if not centered in the word of GOD. So let me start with you.
How in the world did you get here?
To begin with, your mother and father got together in a sexual union, and sperm and an egg got together in your mother’s body, and life began. From this beginning, 9 months of development had to pass before you became the person you are; that is, before you were born into the world. At which point were you a human being? Dr. John Rice says at the point of conception your sex was determined, the color of your eyes and hair, the way you look, your special talents, all that is you today. The only difference is that you had to develop in your mother’s womb. Now this is the natural process for you and me to become an infant child. As Sen. Paul Ryan said in the Vice Presidential debate,
“If you have any children today you probably have pictures of the baby before it was born, maybe of him or her sucking his thumb or making a fist. Sometimes the nurse would have a hard time getting us their ultrasound picture because they were moving around too much. Just as we were alive in our mothers’ body so was our boy or girl.”
So I ask you, what keeps a baby from being a baby? What would keep us from becoming a baby? Something unnatural must take place to stop the growth of this child, and that something unnatural in an abortion is when the baby is killed. This is the interruption, the stopping of the heart, the seizing of the developing brain waves occurring through a traumatic end. There can be no denying that if the fetus is left alone it will become a child. This is the only way that any of us have been brought into this world. You and I are proof of the miracles of God. He has given men and women the power to procreate, and we are here today because we we’re not a mistake, and that’s because God doesn’t make mistakes.
Now that I have shared these truths with you, I will say to you I am pro-choice.
However, I must say it very differently than the pro-choice of modern politics. My pro-choice is that everyone has a choice to wait until marriage before engaging in a sexual union with another of the opposite sex. You and I have a choice since you can wait until you’re in love with the one person you want to spend the rest of your life with, or have sex now. If you choose to fornicate, and break God’s command, then natural consequences come to that choice. You can get a venereal disease, you can get pregnant, and you can have your heart broken. If you get pregnant, you have already made a choice to break God’s command; so you have made your choice. I don’t believe that you should have another choice to kill the baby.
You have already made a choice.
This is pro-choice, the real choice, but now men and women want to erase their choice by eliminating a child because they choose to have sex outside of God’s place of commitment in marriage. The world (Satan) is teaching us that we all should have freedom to have sex with anyone, and have no responsibility to those we have sex with. But the act in God’s eyes is the act of commitment, and to faithfulness to the one who you have had sexual union with. Having sex outside marriage–and then killing the child–will never be right because two wrongs don’t make a right, and they never will.
Since we have established it is a child in the mother (like we were), and that the developing child will–if it is left alone–become a child. Then, that choice is something you have to make before engaging in sex. Once you have gotten someone pregnant, or have become pregnant, accept the responsibility of your choice. Remember you “had” a choice. Since this child is alive just as we are, then it follows that Christians must choose life and defend the rights of the innocent, the weak (the ones who can’t protect themselves); the unborn! What excuse can you give on Judgment Day for turning away from the little ones? Jesus said if you lead one of these little ones astray it would be better that a millstone be tied around your neck and be cast into the sea. These laws that condone abortion clinics are not only leading them astray, but killing them! Are you your brother’s keeper? The blood of the innocent cries out to God as it did against Abel.
On to answering the arguments for abortion, and closing the mouth of the lion:
Argument #1: The fetus is not a human life, therefore it may be killed.
The words fetus and embryo are Greek and Latin words that simply mean “young one.” When scientists speak of a human embryo or fetus, they are not putting it in the category of another species, but are simply using terminology for a stage of development (like the words infant, child, adolescent, or adult). A fetus is a very young person developing in the womb. In pregnancy books it is natural and correct to speak of the fetus as my baby or your child.
As we have stated earlier, from conception the child has its own genetic code. Dr. John Rice says at the point of conception your sex was determined, the color of your eyes and hair, the way you look, your special talents, all that is you today. The only difference is that you had to develop in your mother’s womb. The child has a distinctive genetic code separate from the mother; it shows us all that the child is, and that the child is not a part of the mother’s body. The child is thus a distinct individual, living temporally within her body. Ultrasound imaging reveals this to be true. You can literally follow from your child’s fertilization to its birth in baby books. A fetus is in development until it grows into the known recognizable human form.
At three weeks, a developing baby’s heart begins beating and at six weeks a baby’s brain waves are traceable. At eight weeks the arms, hands, and feet are developed with a distinct set of finger prints being formed. The ultra sound can see a baby making a fist, sucking its thumb, watch it kick, spin and make facial expressions by he/or she’s first trimester. By any reasonable standard, a human fetus is a young human being.
Thus, to kill a baby is murder no matter how young. Have you seen the horrific photo’s of aborted babies? Severed hands feet and heads wrapped up in bags and discarded as trash. This should never be hidden from those who support and vote for those who say this evil is a choice. Each person should get an education on the reality of what happens at an abortion clinic by visiting them, getting to know the procedures by watching the process. Reality will awaken the hardest advocate of abortion to the truth. I will explain three procedures in the next e-mail. Unborn children are precious human beings and must be protected, not sides of beef or drum sticks.
Argument #2: The fetus is not fully human because it is dependent on another to live.
The simple truth is that a baby that has been born cannot live without the care and sustenance from an outside source as well. The baby is dependent on others just as the unborn is on its mother. Is a kangaroo not a kangaroo because it lives in its mothers pouch? Of course not, as with human beings the location and situation does not make him or her less human. If dependency makes a person less human, then on these grounds we should have the right to kill infants outside of the womb. We should kill people on dialysis, war veterans with missing arms, people with pacemakers, the diabetics, and people in comas, handicapped people and the elderly. These people are all dependent on something outside of themselves to keep them alive.
Suppose there are two women several months into their pregnancies. One child is born premature and the other remains in the womb, the premature baby girl is utterly dependent upon medical intervention to survive, and the other is dependent upon the mother’s body to survive. How would the hospital staff react if the mother entered the baby ward with a knife to kill the premature baby girl? Is it a right to kill the baby girl? If it is not the right to kill the premature girl, then why is it right to kill the child in the womb? Both are dependent, both are children, both must have legal protection!
Argument #3: A woman has the right to do with her body as she desires.
We affirm that a women has authority over her own body. She should have the choice of who her husband will be, where she goes to college, where she will live, what kind of car she drives, what she eats for breakfast, if she wears makeup or takes a shower (we would frown at missing too many showers though). As stated earlier, a women has a choice to lay down with a man or not, but after she has, there is no right to take back what she/ they did. It is not okay to murder the innocent child. There are limits to what we can do with our bodies; including causing harm to another human being. Abortion involves the death of an innocent child. As in the US court of law, where there is due process before someone can be brought to a judgment, there is even a stricter scrutiny in the law if a person is to face capital punishment (the death penalty). Those babies have committed no crime, and are given capital punishment without a trial. For what? What evil atrocity have they committed? Let’s punish the bad people! Why do these innocent children who have done no wrong face the death penalty?
Now, to argue further that the living fetus is apart of her body, in which she can do what she wishes, I ask what part of the body is the fetus? What organ? When the child’s heart starts to beat, whose heartbeat is it? When the fetus’s brain waves can be traced, whose are they? When the body has arms and legs, whose are they? Now, both the baby and the mother have bodies; than it follows that both the fetus and the mother’s rights must be considered.
Whenever we speak of the rights of human beings, we must guard against the more powerful person taking advantage of the weaker person. It is the responsibility of the more powerful person to protect the weak. It is especially the responsibility of the mother to protect her children. Does any mother have the right to do whatever she wishes with her children? On the contrary, she has the responsibility of caring for them, or seeing that someone else cares for them. Certainly motherhood calls for sacrifice. We should expect adults to make sacrifices of their resources and freedoms when necessary to preserve the lives of children.
Argument #4: Sex and reproduction are a private matter in which we must not intrude.
Human sexuality expresses the deep intimacy that a husband and wife share. Sex has very public consequences. How we exercise our sexuality contributes to the restraint or spread of disease, the treatment of women with honor or rape, the nurture or sexual abuse of children, and the strengthening or dissolution of families that are the foundation of society. Until the sexual revolution of the 60’s adultery was considered wrong and shameful, now it is accepted as normal. This has directly effected the treatment of women and even affected marriage by creating no fault divorce laws. We have seen the moral fabric of this country slowly unwind as we have stepped away from what used to be absolutes. Society therefore should have a compelling interest to guard the dignity of marriage; women and children with respect to sex and reproduction for can see their outward effects.
People sometimes assume that the constitution guarantees the right to privacy in sexual and reproductive matters. That is not the case as you read the constitution. The fourth amendment acknowledges the right of security against “unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant” but nothing about sexuality, children, or abortion.
Someone might sarcastically say, “I thought what I did in my bedroom was my own business.” That should be the case but, what if someone is killing a child in your bedroom? Wouldn’t that merit public intervention by the authorities? Privacy is not an absolute moral right, but killing a child is an absolute moral wrong.
Argument #5: Making abortion illegal would force women into dangerous, back-alley abortions.
The idea of the crudely done abortion resulting in a bleeding, dying mother (and dead child) has been widely used by abortion advocates. In reality, 90% of abortions were performed before they were legal were done by physicians in their offices. The idea of thousands of women dying yearly until abortion was legal is a myth that pushed society for its acceptance. In 1972, thirty–nine mothers died in the United States from abortions. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (March 26th, 2010) admits the legalization of abortion has had no impact on the number of women dying of abortions in the U.S.
In fact, legal abortion is now the leading cause of death related to maternal deaths in the US.
Every woman who dies from a botched abortion is a tragic loss. But so is every child who dies from a successful abortion. We should not make it legal to kill babies in order to make the killing safer for the adults involved. Furthermore, abortion has medical and psychological risks; making it illegal would protect the lives and health of millions and millions of women.
Argument #6: It is better to die before birth than to live as a unwanted child.
To give a human being the power to determine the future life of another individual based on whether he or she is wanted or unwanted is most dangerous. Do we have the right to kill on the basis if we want them or not? Such a view point leads highly-cultured societies to commit genocide against the mentally and inferior races. You see that those who advocate the murder of the unwanted baby will be advocating later–as did Hitler–the murder of others that are unfit or retarded or those who are an extra burden on society. When you justify murder, there is always a next step.
Secondly, is the child never wanted by anyone? Many mothers who did not want their child prior to birth experience a change of heart after birth. There are so many parents that want to adopt a child, therefore these children are very much wanted. To say the child is not wanted now does not mean that the child will never be wanted. Did you know that Apple founder, Steve Jobs, was unwanted by his birth mother and adoptive parents?
Third, this argument has horrifying implications for the “unwanted.” Consider these three “cases” for abortion:
while a woman is pregnant, she finds that the child may be deformed and deaf
another mom finds out her child may be a mongoloid, affected by Down’s Syndrome
another pregnant woman’s boy may be retarded
All of these mothers are considering abortion. Now in these cases we wait until their children are born and find that just one of the children is born with a defect; deafness. Will we kill the baby for it being born deaf? Is this not a good thing because the boy was unwanted? You say that is wrong and we shouldn’t do that! You are shocked at the thought of killing one deaf baby but are not moved when all three of these children were going to be killed by abortion.
Wake up, if it is a right to kill those who may be defective, wouldn’t it be logical to kill those who are already born who are defective, or a burden to society? Using this logic, it is the next step for a society with this worldview.
Finally, what gives us the right to decide whether it is better for a person to live or die? The 14th amendment says no one is to be deprived of life without due process of law. Where is the justification to determine the death of a person without due process? Did you consult the child? Are you the owner of that person’s life? Do you know without a doubt the future of that child? Do not many “unwanted” children overcome severe physical and mental handicaps in their life times and become useful adult citizens? Do not many people in very painful situations choose wisely to live than to kill themselves? You and I don’t know what this child’s life will be so how can we kill a child when she has not committed any crime? In the end, what seems to be a compassionate argument for the “unwanted” child makes no sense at all. At best it is an emotional, illogical appeal; at worst it is a mask for selfishness and a murderous heart.
God’s word in Proverbs 8:36 says, “Those who hate me (GOD) love death.” There are many who claim they love God, yet God is the God of life. If you can vote with or condone murder at any level except for biblical life-for-life are you a Christian? You can say a lot of things but your heart is revealing the truth: you hate your unborn brother and are a murder. Revelation 21:8 says that no murderer has eternal life but will be thrown into the lake of fire. You are called to choose between blessing or cursing, life or death. I beg you to choose life. We all will stand before our Maker and give account. Choose life.
Thank you for reading the answers to a set of hard questions. Jesus said what you have done to the least of these you have done to me: it is the will of God that man protect those who cannot defend themselves. Protect life! There is no greater issue facing the American people than abortion. This is the only issue that is truly a matter of life and death: 53,000,000 have been killed in abortions and counting!
We are able to stop this evil, so don’t vote for, nor support anyone who is for the killing of a child; no matter how young that child is.
You are your brother’s keeper!
God bless you as you defend the rights of unborn children; it is God’s will.
Hearing the word “apologetics,” many immediately think of our modern understanding of what it means to apologize for something as an expression of regret. This could be understandably confusing since we are talking about Christian apologetics, potentially implying that we regret being Christians. However, to do apologetics ironically means quite the opposite of “apologizing” for something.
The word comes from the Greek prefix “apo-”, which indicates a separation or a deflection of something, and the word “logos”, which is unsurprisingly where we get our term “logic.” So, the Greek word apologia paints a picture of something that is being deflected by way of logic. The most common definition of the word apologetics is “a reasoned defense.” (Think Jude 3.)
Side note: Imagine how the conversation would go next time you needed to apologize to someone, and you offered “a reasoned defense” of your actions.
There are apologists everywhere. Every political position, sports fan base, and brand loyalty has its apologists. Every religion has apologists who defend their faith as the one true religion. Even the nonreligious have apologists who defend the secular mindset that all religions are ultimately wrong.
When it comes to us Christians, however, we take the role of the apologist to an entirely different level. Christianity is not simply supposed to have apologists; as we shall see, every Christian is supposed to be an apologist. For Christians, apologetics is not something we simply leave to “the experts.” It is something that is very much a part of what it means to be a Christian.
The most famous usage of the word in the New Testament comes from the Apostle Peter. In 1 Peter 3:15 he gives both a directive and a definition of apologetics. There Peter states:
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
The phrase translated into English as “give an answer” is actually one word in Greek. You guessed it: apologia. The command is clear. We are always to be ready with an answer, always ready to do apologetics.
Among a few qualities of what a good answer may look like, Peter zeros in on the main subject—“the hope that is in you.” Christian apologetics is a focused discipline with a singular goal, namely to bring people to the gospel. Jesus commissioned us to go into all the world and preach the gospel; Peter reminds us to be ready with an answer when they have questions about it.
The Need for Apologetics
As much as the world has changed since the first century, the Great Commission has not. All Christians have been tasked with preaching the gospel. The only alternative to evangelism, as they say, is disobedience.
Apologetics has always played a pivotal role in our evangelism. Christian apologist James Patrick Holding observed, “What we call ‘apologetics’ was, in fact, what the apostolic church would have called ‘evangelism.’” He goes on to explain, “Early missionary preaching testified to the historical realities upon which the Christian faith was grounded and called for repentance on those grounds.”
Indeed, if you were to review the evangelism of the apostles, personal and public, there is very little reliance on personal experience or emotional appeal. On the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:22-25), for example, Peter gave a textbook example of what he describes in his epistle. He appealed to Jesus’ miracles, culminating in his resurrection, and his fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies. On the basis of the historical reality of what Jesus had done, Peter calls his audience to repent and believe.
In our post-Christian secular age, the presence of apologetics in our evangelism is as important as it ever has been. Our culture is moving ever further away from a time when people had the same general understanding of God, the Bible, and religion. However, the popular consensus has changed in virtually every category. To talk to someone about the gospel today is a vastly different endeavor than it was years ago. Apologetics professor Travis Dickinson notes,
“More and more, apologetics does the work equivalent to what Bible translators do for an unreached people group. The Bible translator must get the content of the Gospel into the vernacular of the people for an individual to even grasp this content. Could the Holy Spirit miraculously allow the tribesman to understand the Gospel in a foreign language? Absolutely. However, it typically takes the hard work of translation. Likewise, God can bring conviction if He wants, but it often takes the hard work of engaging in apologetic discussion for someone to be able to grasp the content of the Gospel.”
In our evangelism, we declare what the gospel is, and what people ought to do about it. Yet, increasingly people ask why. Why should someone believe in any God, much less the one described in the Bible? Why should someone believe that Jesus of Nazareth was God in the flesh and that he rose from the dead? If God loves us so much, why do so many bad things happen to us? If God went to such great lengths to save us, why did he put us in a situation in which we need saving? These are precisely the questions Peter was talking about.
“I’ve heard plenty of Christians try to answer the why question by going back to the what. “You have to believe because Jesus is the Son of God.” But that’s answering the why with more what. Increasingly we live in a time when you can’t avoid the why question. Just giving the what (for example, a vivid gospel presentation) worked in the days when the cultural institutions created an environment in which Christianity just felt true or at least honorable. But in a post-Christendom society, in the marketplace of ideas, you have to explain why this is true, or people will just dismiss it.”
If the only alternative to evangelism is disobedience, which I believe it is, then the only alternative to apologetics is ineffectiveness.
The Point of Apologetics
While apologetics is vital to evangelism, it is also substantively different. There are two major objectives in apologetics that contrast from evangelism.
The first major objective is to provide reasons to believe. While evangelism declares what to believe, apologetics gives people a reason to do so. For example, many people are unaware of the abundance of manuscript evidence that demonstrates the reliability of the New Testament as a historical document. So, as astounding as much of the New Testament narrative is, we can give people reasons to believe what it says.
The second major objective is to remove reasons to doubt. While evangelism warns of the consequences of not believing, apologetics demonstrates that there are no good reasons not to believe. For example, many people have a problem with believing in the miraculous features of Christian belief because they supposedly conflict with modern scientific understanding. Yet, many Christian apologists have demonstrated that there is no real conflict between science and faith.
This is illustrated by one of my favorite metaphors for the relationship between apologetics and evangelism. Apologist Matt Slick gives the illustration of “what apologetics really is.” As he tells it, the gospel is like a garden in the middle of a field. That garden has one gate, which is Jesus. One path takes you right up to the gate. That path is evangelism, leading people to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, for many people the journey to the garden is difficult. There are many paths that appear to head toward the garden but eventually veer off into some other direction. There are massive rocks and heavy brush obstructing the way. Then, in steps the apologist, pointing people back to the right path and clearing any obstacles ahead. The apologist may not be the gardener, and he is definitely not the gate. In fact, he needs the path, the gate, and the garden every bit as much as the people he helps. Nevertheless, he helps as many as he can along the way.
It is important to note the differences between apologetics and evangelism, or else we run the risk of treating apologetics as an end in itself. Even still, noting the differences helps us focus on the primary purpose of apologetics. It is easy to get bogged down and sidetracked by neverending debates and peripheral issues. But, doing so renders our apologetics fruitless.
Here’s the thing…
Apologetics is the process of getting people to the gospel as soon as possible.
It may be more than that, but it should never be less.
Travis Satterfield is a family man, teacher, and blogger. Here’s the thing… is a blend of his personal story of doubt and faith, his professional experience of teaching the Bible, and his passionate insight into theology, apologetics, and culture. Subscribe to receive email updates, follow on Twitter (@h_t_t_blog), and join the conversation on Facebook (@httblog).