A common expression is, "There is a method to the madness." Though this expression is used to defend someone's unorthodox ways to accomplish certain tasks, it partially holds true for apologetics; namely, there is a method to defending the faith. In our first two posts, we briefly addressed the mandate and the mindset of apologetics, respectively. However, there is a method to do this from a biblical perspective. The method to apologetics does not begin in following prescribed steps, but in the internal approach of the one engaging in it. Continuing our examination of I Peter 3;15-16, we find these words,
"...with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." (I Peter 3:15b-16)
Peter admonished the believers to be ready to defend the faith, but the method to be employed is meekness and fear. This means that the believer should boldly declare their faith out of a reverence of God and in an unoffensive manner. Though people will be offended by what the Christian may say, the Christian's character should not be called into question due to erratic, irrational, and demeaning behavior as they defend the faith. Peter tells them that meekness and fear is needed as to not give the opposing side a valid reason to malign the believer personally as an attempt to not hear their message.
We see today that Christians have been guilty of not defending the faith in meekness and fear. Some have been highly offensive and ungodly in their approach. Again, when we speak of offensive, we mean using derogatory and demeaning language to expose sin and ungodliness. We can stand on the truth boldly without resorting to ungodly tactics to make the biblical position clear. Remember, the goal of apologetics is not to win a debate or argument, but to give individuals a clear presentation of the gospel, that they, peradventure, will enter into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.