© 1999 James A. Fowler

You are free to download this outline provided it remains intact without alteration. You are also free to transmit this outline electronically provided that you do so in its entirety with proper citation of authorship included.


I. Biblical words.

   A. Greek root words: apo = "from"; logos = word, logic, reasoning
   B. Noun: apologia.
        Acts 22:1 - "my defense"
        Acts 25:16 - "make his defense"
        I Cor. 9:3 - "my defense"
        II Cor. 7:11 - "vindication"
        Phil. 1:7 - "defense of the gospel"
        Phil. 1:17 - "defense of the gospel"
        II Tim. 4:16 - "my first defense"
        I Peter 3:15 - "ready to make a defense"
   C. Verb: apologeomai.
Luke 12:11 - "your defense"
        Luke 21:14 - "not to defend yourselves"
        Acts 19:33 - "make a defense"
        Acts 24:10 - "make my defense"
        Acts 25:8 - "his own defense"
        Acts 26:1 - "make his defense"
        Acts 26:2 - "make my defense"
        Acts 26:24 - "in his defense"
        Rom. 2:15 - "defending them"
        II Cor. 12:17 - "defending ourselves"
   D. Used in ancient Greek as "defense of belief or action." Ex. Plato's Apology is a record of
        Aristotle's defense after being accused of rejecting the gods of Greece and corrupting the youth.
   E. English words "apology" and "apologize" often convey idea of "making excuses, alibi, pretext,"
        or of "plea for leniency," such as "I'm sorry."

II. Encouragement to give a reasoned defense of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

   A. Examples:
        Acts 9:22 - (Paul) "proving that Jesus is the Christ."
        Acts 17:2 - "reasoned from the Scriptures"
        Acts 18:4 - "trying to persuade Jews and Greeks"
        Acts 19:8,9 - "reasoning and persuading them about Kingdom of God"
        II Cor. 10:5 - "destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge
            of God."
        I Peter 3:15 - "always ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account to
           the hope that is in you."
   B. Defending the veracity of the gospel
        1. Historicity of Jesus.
        2. Christology - that Jesus is God and man.
        3. Trinity.
        4. Miracles.
        5. Soteriology - atonement - work of Christ.
   C. Defending against
        1. Philosophies - Col. 2:8
        2. Religion - Col. 2:20-23
   D. Early Christian writers were known as "apologists." Men such as Justin, Tatian, Melito, etc.

III. Cautions to be considered in reference to defense of the gospel.

   A. Cautions against self-defense
        Luke 12:11 - "do not be anxious about what you should speak in your defense"
        Luke 21:14 - "not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves"
   B. Cautions against arguing.
        I Tim. 1:6 - "fruitless discussion"
        I Tim. 6:20 - "the opposing arguments of what is falsely called 'knowledge'"
        II Tim. 2:14 - "not to wrangle about words"
        Titus 3:9 - "shun foolish controversies...and disputes about the Law"
   C. We must avoid:
        1. Anti-intellectualism
        2. Super-spiritualism, mysticism, experientialism, existentialism
        3. "Pat" answers, "canned" explanations
        4. Being "defensive" in our defense.
        5. Rationalism, complete epistemological objectivity
        6. Moralism
   D. Clark Pinnock - "Apologetics deals in the area of pre-evangelism." It is at the factual and
        foundational level of understanding Christian truth, the veracity of historical and theological
        data. It is cognitive and rational and logical. It is tragic when Christians think that it constitutes
        the epitome of Christian belief. Christianity is not essentially a belief-system to be defended,
        but a Life to be lived.



 Outlines index