1 Peter – Chapter Three XXII

by Ed Urzi

“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15 ESV).

We will conclude our short commentary series on the subject of apologetics from 1 Peter 3:15 with some closing thoughts on this passage…

In the discipline of apologetics, we endeavor to make a case for why we believe what we believe as Christians. This we do in fulfillment of 1 Peter 3:15, which tells us to be always ‘prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.’ Typically, Christian apologists—those who practice apologetics—focus on intellectual challenges that skeptics pose concerning God’s existence, the reliability of the Bible, and similar issues.

This is important work, but seasoned apologists testify that it is never intellectual issues alone that keep people from believing in Christ. What prevents people from trusting in Jesus is the fact that they know trusting Him as Savior means following Him as Lord, and they just do not want to give up their sin and perceived autonomy.” (1)

“Faith and reason are not mutually exclusive. A person should not believe in something without first inquiring whether it is a worthy object of belief. For example, few people would undergo a serious medical operation by a totally unknown person whom they had no reason to believe was anything but a quack. Likewise, God does not call on us to exercise blind faith. Since God is a God of reason (Isa. 1:18), and since He has made us rational creatures in His image (Gen. 1:27; Col. 3:10), He wants us to look before we leap. No rational person should step into an elevator without first looking to see if there is a floor. Likewise, God wants us to take a step of faith in the light of the evidence, but not a leap of faith into the dark. ” (2)

“The unique claims of Christianity are offensive to the unbelieving mind. ‘The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God’ (1 Cor 1:18). Nonetheless, the offended critic deserves an answer” (Col. 4:5–6 ; 1 Pet. 3:15). (3)

(1) R.C. Sproul, “What Do You Do With Your Guilt?” Tabletalk Magazine, May, 2014 [pg. 55]

(2) Norman L. Geisler and Thomas A. Howe, When Critics Ask : A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992), 165.

(3) Geisler, N. L. 1999. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Baker Reference Library. Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Mich.