Place yourself into the following scenario: You have a client in obvious emotional distress. After a couple of sessions, it turns out that the root of his/her distress lay in an erroneous belief about salvation. How do you, as a biblical counsellor assist the client?
Apologetics simply means ‘defence’ (not ‘apologize’). In the scenario above, the biblical counsellor proceeds to defend the truth about salvation and therefore, the client finds relief and healing.
What actually happened, is that the biblical counsellor helped the client overcome the intellectual barrier that prevented them from embracing the true faith in Christ (i.e. apologetics).
Christian apologetics has a long history to it in the Bible and is extremely useful in grounding your counselling approach in the Bible. For example:
- The same God who loves us unconditionally also sent His only Son and through Him, God is willing to forgive all our sin, thereby reconciling us to Himself.
- Acts 7:1-53 is Stephen’s apologetic defence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Likewise, Paul’s apologetics drew from the Old Testament and he reasoned with many.
- The resurrection of Christ validated His deity and the Good News.
- A fundamental question answered by apologetics is ‘why is something and not nothing here.’ The answer to this question addresses the meaning and purpose of being alive.
But what if the study of apologetics also helps you–personally–to grow in confidence, grow in faith and establish an unshakable grounding in the love of God, forgiveness and trust in the Lord Jesus as King of your life? It does!
Is the subject of apologetics difficult? Yes, but also no. So let’s change the question then: ‘Yes or no: will you (personally) and your effectiveness in the kingdom of God be better or worse off after studying a course in apologetics?’ The answer has to be a resounding ‘yes!’
Christian apologetics is essential to biblical counselling as well as the spiritual growth of the biblical counsellor.