What is Apologetics?

Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense or an answer given in reply. In ancient Athens it referred to a defense made in the courtroom as part of the normal judicial procedure. After the accusation, the defendant was allowed to refute the charges with a defense or reply (apologia). The word appears 17 times in noun or verb form in the New Testament, and both the noun (apologia) and verb form (apologeomai) can be translated “defense” or “vindication” in every case.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What is the difference between Christ's exclusivity and religious bigotry?

The question posed here is one that harbors an exclusive tone. “What is the difference between Christ’s exclusivity” implies that the burden of proof is put on Christ over and above some other religious view.

Let us not forget, contrary to popular belief, that all religions are exclusive by their very nature. One of the current candidates for the highest office has said that he believes all religious traditions are just different paths to the same place [destiny]. Nothing could be furthest from the truth.

Do you know what you would get if you were to put a Muslim cleric in the same room with a Christian, Mormon defender and other philosophers from the other religions? You would find very quickly that all those scholars would make their cases why their faith is right and the others are not as right or totally wrong. Each religion has their tenets that make it set apart from the others. While each religion embraces a moral law of some kind, they all differ in areas of man’s nature, view of God, view of salvation, post mortem survival dogmas, and their sacred books.

The other side of the question is regarding religious bigotry. It is not correct to call a person a bigot if they espouse their religion to be true and another’s false. It is bigotry when you do not allow the person from another faith the opportunity to share why their faith may be true against all others.

All religions are exclusive by their very nature. If you look at any of the major religions, you would find that there are certain tenets that make it unique to itself in contrast to the other religions. Although there is an exclusive nature to Hinduism that sets it apart from Islam, and to Islam which sets it apart from Judaism and Christianity, the issue of religious tolerance is one that runs roughshod into the face of religious bigotry.

The test as to who is right and who is wrong comes in evaluating the claims of Jesus Christ versus all the other religious leaders. If Jesus made some claims, and possessed attributes that set him apart from Muhammad, Moses, and the gurus of Hinduism and the monks of Buddhism. If these attributes set him apart from any other religious leader, would you be willing to consider his claims and his life, and respond to what he desires for you?

Is this bigoted? I think not. When you set your presuppositions aside and wrap your mind around the reality of Christ’s claims, you will be confronted with having to make a decision. Are you willing to do that?

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