There are no facts, only interpretations.”- Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche, a well-known 19th century German philosopher, freely promoted his belief that there are no facts in the world but rather just perceptions and interpretations. Upon reading his quote face value, one may hastily assume that Nietzsche was a bit naïve or even ignorant in many ways because we know that truth exists. We know that the sun is at the center of our solar system and provides Earth with solar energy, trees exist and are able to synthesize their own food, and we are creatures with individual minds able to rationally think.
Without a doubt, truth exists no matter anyone’s contrary opinion. Even if someone were to say, “There’s no such thing as truth,” I would question them as to whether their statement is true because if it were true, then that proves that truth exists. That statement is clearly self-defeating. Objective truth is an unchangeable and permanent fact while relative truth is factual to some because it feels right. Unfortunately, many influential people today try to alter or change truth to make it more subjective to their own personal beliefs and to satisfy their own desires. But some truths remain true no matter what we may believe. Truth does exist and it is worth defending ferociously.
What is Apologetics?
At first glance, many people confuse the meaning of the word “apologetics” for an apology as if having to be sorry for something. Apologetics is Greek for “apologia” which simply means to “provide a defense”. Apologetics is not just any defense biasedly made by personal preference but one that is soundly supported by acceptable reasons and evidence.
Apologetics uses universally accepted information to give a rational defense of the Christian faith. It is to provide an explanation that is accurate and supported even by the secular worlds of science and philosophy showing that these fields are compatible and easily work together. Good conclusions about the Christian faith that are made apologetically have been observed and backed by evidence which passes the test for validity and soundness. Therefore, it brings great comfort knowing that apologetics uses real world information, such as history, philosophy and science, to defend the truth of the Bible.
Why is Apologetics important?
With all of the different opinions and ideas that are presented in the world today, it is easy to get lost in the chaos of the origin, meaning and purpose of life. Due to our natural, selfish desires, it is easy to fall into creating false notions that support the life we would like to live or the goals we would like to achieve even if they negatively affect those around us. But can truth be changed to fit our own scheme? A half or partial truth is no truth at all. And if one creates a partial truth to create a world that satisfies their desires, it is clear that that particular world is just an illusion and the satisfaction felt is illusory, too.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Although, the term “apologetic” is universally used to provide a defense for any position or belief, Christians have adopted this word to describe a defense for their faith and the Word of God. Apologetics exists to remove any deterrents to the Christian faith and enhance the confidence of believers.
The purpose of apologetics is to protect and strengthen the Christian faith. Apologetics helps believers to better know their faith and share it more effectively. It is never used to force others to believe what one believes. We should all be equipped, with prepared and rational minds, to give an explanation of what we believe to be true and hold closely to our hearts no matter the opposition. Through apologetics many can know that aside from faith, which is the essential first step to coming to know God, there is much reason to believe that God exists.
A Reason for Purpose
With the increasing confusion of strange beliefs and ideas in the world, it is inevitable to come into contact with someone who finds apologetics to be a waste of time because they do not believe in God. In fact, it is inevitable to at least once in a lifetime encounter someone who has made it their personal goal to present a case proving genuine faith a myth. But just as 19th century writer H.L. Hastings illustrated, “the hammers of infidels have been pecking away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures. If this book had not been the book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago. Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the book still lives.”
Perhaps, it makes sense as to why there are so many who struggle with identity leading them to the false conclusion that life has no purpose. If one simply believes that God does not exist, that is the only conclusion left. If we were naturally created by chance then that means that our destiny is to one day cease to exist and our bodies return back to the dirt of this planet. Surprisingly, there are some who are comfortable with this belief because it gives them the freedom to do whatever they please without having any accountability. Fortunately, those who believe that the origin of life was caused by direct intervention of a higher being hold on dearly to the truth; the truth being that our purpose and meaning lie in Him who is “the way, the truth, and the life.”