Nehemiah, armed with letters to officials and a military escort, traveled across his world to Jerusalem. He had everything he needed to do the work. The letters from the king gave him safe passage and access to resources needed to rebuild. When he reached the city, Nehemiah found that the situation was just as bleak as he had heard. Inspecting a scene for yourself is far better than hearing a report. Nehemiah was impressed with the enormity of the work of rebuilding the walls.
I have been impressed with the enormity and responsibility of being a Christian Apologist. When one’s words and teaching reaches others, then you really understand the words of the New Testament that say teachers bear great responsibility. This has led me to increasing my study and work in apologetics so that I can be more prepared.
After Nehemiah surveyed the work, he revealed his mission to the local leadership. Those leaders were enthusiastic. “Let’s start rebuilding,” they said (Nehemiah 2:18, HCSB). However, not everyone was overjoyed. Two local warlords, Sanballat and Tobiah, were especially displeased. They suggested that Nehemiah would attempt to rebel against the king.
I’ve heard opposition to apologetics in the church. The one that has struck me the most is that apologetics is too “intellectual.” I have heard this even in my own church. The answer to the objection is that yes it is an intellectual work. But, Jesus said we are to love God with our minds (Matt. 22:37). Developing the Christian mind is one the greatest challenges in the church today. Apologists like me are on the front lines of this effort. We are here to try and rebuild the wall even in the face of opposition. My goal has always been to make my teaching understandable and to make that theoretical objection disappear in actual practice.
Nehemiah answered his opposition by determining to do the work of rebuilding the wall and the city. He replied to Sanballat and the others, “The God of heaven is the One who will grant us success” (Nehemiah 2:20a, HCSB).
Why should you care that I am Christian Apologist? You see the trouble that the church is in. The church is under attack from outside and inside. There are cracks in the wall. The gates are smoldering. It should break your heart as much as it does mine. When I began studying apologetics, I found out a simple, yet profound truth: Christianity makes sense. It is reasonable to put one’s faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His claims of truth. The Christian worldview is logical and worthy of not only our intellectual assent but our life commitment. This is my message as a Christian Apologist. I believe that this is a message that can help rebuild the wall and the gates. I believe that this is a message that can strengthen the church. A church that is strengthened is more willing and able to take the message that Christianity makes sense to the outside world and be a more consistent witness to that world.
Because of these things, you should care that there are apologists like me in the church. I pray that the God of heaven will grant me success.