Question 3: Can a lost person be argued into the Kingdom of God using apologetics?
Answer 3: Apologetics presents a positive challenge that points the unbeliever to the Kingdom of God.
Comment: My first experience with apologetics involved a lot of argumentation. That is to say, I argued a lot. I was a new believer and excited about the possibilities of the use of argument but without the deep knowledge or skill in presentation. The other participant in my argumentative fervor was a family member. Sadly, my efforts turned that family member off and probably gave him more reasons to reject the Christian faith.
This tale has been repeated many times with names that have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty. It probably has given the field of apologetics a bad name with some believers. However, we cannot reject such an important tool as apologetics.
The Holy Spirit is working to convict unbelievers of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). This most certainly would mean the truth of the Christian faith and salvation. If so, then apologetics arguments presented in a loving and irenic fashion can demonstrate the truthfulness of the Christian faith and aid in assisting the nonbeliever in listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
For a practical lesson, we should also remember the testimonies of such figures as Lee Strobel and J. Warner Wallace. Both men were committed atheists until positively challenged to review the evidence for Christianity.
The onus of apologetics is arguments presented truthfully and in love, not in bludgeoning argumentation.
Scripture: “… since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ” (II Corinthians 10:4-5, HCSB).
Additional Resources: Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus, 1998.