Is Apologetics Practical?

Many times it is necessary for the Christian case maker to make an apologetic for apologetics.  We must be equipped to defend and persuade fellow believers that apologetics is vital and biblical.

I recall once sitting across the desk of a pastor who said, "Apologetics is useful, sure, but
I am meeting with men and women who's marriages are falling apart.  How is apologetics going to help me then?"

At the time I didn't have an answer for him and I actually thought the point was a valid one.  However, one day while reading the book of Titus this assumption was challenged.  In this letter to Titus the Apostle Paul is writing to give him [Titus] "personal authorization and guidance in meeting opposition, instructions about faith and conduct, and warnings about false teachers." [1]

It was Paul's qualifications for elders that caught my eye.  He writes:

"...holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.  For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain." [2]

Did you catch that?  What was "upsetting whole families?"  It was the empty talkers and deceivers.  For me a light bulb went on.  This pastor's assumption was that apologetics could have nothing to do with a man's marriage falling apart and his family being "upset."  However, my experience has demonstrated otherwise.

I recollect teaching a Sunday school class and a young lady came in looking very distraught.  She went on to explain to the group that her husband, who was the spiritual leader of their household, had become an atheist.  What was the reason for the sudden change?  Her husband had been visiting atheist internet sites and had come to believe that his Christian faith was without foundation.  He no longer wanted his son in a Christian school and refused to come to church.  He even began to harass his wife about her Christian beliefs. Needless to say, their household was upset!  Had this gentlemen been equipped to "be able to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" his trust in Christ would have been confirmed and his household would have been stronger for it.

Now, don't misunderstand me.  I'm not arguing that apologetics is the answer to everything.  Surely it is not. However, I believe apologetics is much more practical than many think and that it does directly impact marriages and families.

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Holy Bible, Updated New American Standard Version, Introduction to Titus, p. 1144.
2. Titus 1:9-11; NASB.