For [Apollos] vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah. (Acts 18:28)
Yesterday we met C. S. Lewis. He converted to Christ from atheism and devoted his life to apologetics. That doesn’t mean the art of saying sorry! It means presenting a carefully reasoned case that Christianity is true—and he’s not alone. Other apologists include Dorothy Sayers, Francis Schaeffer, Nancy Pearcey, Lee Strobel, Rebecca McLaughlin, Amy Orr-Ewing, and Abdu Murray. Some grew up Christian. Others came out of atheism or another religion. In Acts 18, we meet one of the first Christian apologists: Apollos.
“Don’t think; just believe.” That’s the attitude of some church folks. They get nervous about apologetics. They’re afraid that it will lead people away from simple faith in Christ. But the Bible takes a different view. Presenting a compelling rationale for Christianity can be “a great help to those who by grace had believed” (Acts 18:27). God’s grace, our faith, and good reasons go together! Even “public debate” (Acts 18:28) has its place. Apologists who defend the gospel graciously and cogently on college campuses, for instance, not only shore up the faith of Christian students but also nudge non-Christians toward conversion too.
Apollos had the gifts of a good apologist: a solid education, a passion for truth, strong communication skills, and an openness to keep learning (see Acts 18:24–26). Not all of us have those gifts. But we all can learn from those who do.
Pursue grace, faith, and reason in your walk with God.
Jerome Van Kuiken is a missionary kid, a pastor’s kid, and dean of the School of Ministry and Christian Thought at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.