This week we are going to be talking about different apologetic methods. Today we will be explaining Classical Apologetics and ways you can use it in your conversations with unbelievers. First, I wanted to stress the importance of not just giving your testimony or telling them about Jesus when you first meet someone. That will come later but first we need to remember to ask questions and listen. Your conversations should be organic and not like you’ve rehearsed a script.
Classical Apologetics contains three sections that can be used to do apologetics. These should be done in order because it will help you build a foundation and get an idea of what the other person believes is true that you are trying to reach.
1) Philosophical Foundation
Philosophy is important for any believer and there are many christian thinkers who have paved the way for us everyday christians. Everyone is a philosopher and it helps to know just how often we use it in our lives. It also helps your conversations so that you can establish some ground rules of reason and logic.
I like to ask questions such as:
-how would you describe truth?
-do you believe in absolute truths?
-what is reality?
-can people choose their own truth?
-how is truth different from beliefs?
You may need to spend more time in this area if you are talking to someone that believes that people have different truths about reality. I find this area to be especially helpful when I’m talking to people of eastern religions. They are a bit more carefree about their philosophy on life and haven’t thought through these questions. At times you will come across those that don’t think objective truths or morality exist. Here you will get a good idea if the conversation would be fruitful to continue. If you can’t agree on what reality or truth is the next two sections will be very difficult.
2) Existence of God
When someone makes a claim it is always their duty to provide evidence for it. We all have the burden to show why we believe a certain way. In this area I like to ask what do they believe about God because sometimes their idea of God is not what God is like. It’s always good to ask them to explain why they believe about God the way they do. It’s possible they’ve just been taught a different version of who God is. If this person doesn’t believe that God exists it’s much harder to move on to the next section. Instead of walking away ask them why they believe that God doesn’t exist and what evidence convinced them of this.
Another suggestion is to ask if they think miracles exist. If they don’t believe in the supernatural it’s hard to talk about other supernatural things that Jesus did.
3) Truths of Christianity
Last we have truths about Christianity. Since you’ve already discussed the definition of truth and reality you will have established that Christianity has to coincide with reality. Here you can talk about evidence for:
-Historical evidence for Jesus (including the resurrection)
-Scientific evidence that supports the Bible
The classical method is not the only way but it is a helpful way to guide you through a conversation. The last section is where you can talk about the love of Jesus and your personal testimony. Not everyone may want to hear about your experience with Jesus but it is hard for them to ignore objective truth.