What is apologetics? Why the need for apologetics, doesn't the Bible say, "you just have to have faith” or "you just have to believe”? Some Christians claim that all we need is faith, we do not need to learn apologetics. In fact, they argue that our quest for reasons and logical answers to such things is contrary to faith, and even evidences a lack of faith. Is this true?
All Protestants agree in teaching that “the word of God, as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only infallible rule of faith and practice.”
So far as the Romish doctrine concerning the Rule of Faith differs from that of Protestants, it presents the following points for consideration: First, The doctrine of Romanists concerning the Scriptures. Second, Their doctrine concerning tradition. Third, Their doctrine concerning the office and authority of the Church as a teacher. ...
Few words indeed have been used in such a vague, indefinite sense as Mysticism. Its etymology does not determine its meaning. A μύστης was one initiated into the knowledge of the Greek mysteries, one to whom secret things had been revealed. Hence in the wide sense of the word, a Mystic is one who claims to see or know what is hidden from other men, whether this knowledge is attained by immediate intuition, or by inward revelation. In most cases these methods were assumed to be identical, as intuition was held to be the immediate vision of God and of divine things. Hence, in the wide sense of the word, Mystics are those who claim to be under the immediate guidance of God or of his Spirit.
By Rationalism is meant the system or theory which assigns undue authority to reason in matters of religion. By reason is not to be understood the Logos as revealed in man, as held by some of the Fathers, and by Cousin and other modern philosophers, nor the intuitional faculty as distinguished from the understanding or the discursive faculty. The word is taken in its ordinary sense for the cognitive faculty, that which perceives, compares, judges, and infers.
If natural science is concerned with the facts and laws of nature, theology is concerned with the facts and the principles of the Bible. If the object of the one be to arrange and systematize the facts of the external world, and to ascertain the laws by which they are determined; the object of the other is to systematize the facts of the Bible and ascertain the principles or general truths which those facts involve.
Does God Exist? Can We Know There Is a God?
A large class of theologians and philosophers deny that the existence of God is susceptible of proof. This is done on different grounds.
Deuteronomy 4:35 American Standard Version (ASV)
35 Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that Jehovah he is God; there is none else besides him.
Israel was shown these things so they might appreciate the uniqueness of their God. Jehovah alone is God, and besides him there is no other. God went to unusual lengths to reveal himself to Israel, and he did so for a significant reason—to discipline them. The expression suggests not punishment or retribution but profound instruction. God's intent was didactic not judicial. He made them hear his voice… from out of the fire so they might understand that he tolerates no rivals.
God is A spirit - This is the second reason why men should worship him in spirit and in truth. By this is meant that God is without a body but He has spirit body; yet he is not material or composed of parts; that he is invisible, in every place, pure and holy. This is one of the first truths of religion, and one of the sublimest ever presented to the mind of man. Almost all nations have had some idea of God as gross or material, but the Bible declares that he is a pure spirit. As he is such a spirit, he dwells not in temples made with hands Act_7:48, neither is worshipped with men’s hands as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, Act_17:25. A pure, a holy, a spiritual worship, therefore, is such as he seeks - the offering of the soul rather than the formal offering of the body - the homage of the heart rather than that of the lips.