By Elias Ayala (MDiv & M.A.T.)
Any Christian apologist worth his or her salt must place great emphasis upon the memorization of scripture. Indeed, it is the BIBLICAL worldview that the apologist is defending. However, it is to the great detriment to the apologist if he or she engages in the defense of the faith, yet is ill-equipped biblically to defend it. The apologist must be conversant with the text he seeks to defend as well as have an understanding of how the Bible functions both in its part and its interconnected whole; that is to say, that the apologist must have a cursory understanding of the Bible as a system and holistic source of interconnectedness in regards to how God has revealed himself as creator and definer of all things.
It is a great shame to see would be apologists conversant and fluent in the philosophical and scientific literature all the while being largely ignorant of the scriptures. Many believers think it more important to master philosophy and science over attaining a mastery of the Word of God. As a result their thinking is not grounded in a biblical worldview in which the Word of God holds the ultimate status, but rather, they argue in a fashion which places human intellect and wisdom over the wisdom of God’s Word. This is not to say that the apologist should not be conversant in those respective fields, but there is a problem of inconsistency when those fields of study overshadow the scriptures in their importance and use.
The Christian apologist who would place Christ front and center thus bringing every thought captive in obedience to him does not flirt with the worldly philosophical notion that reason and science are of first importance while the scriptures take the back seat to appease what the world deems wisdom and knowledge. We must always remember that to acknowledge the Lordship of Christ in all our thinking is to understand both reason and science as only making sense within a worldview context that is itself provided for and made rational by the revealed Word of God.
The Christian apologist who would be affective in the defense of the faith does seek a mere pragmatic approach to defending the gospel, but rather he seeks to defend the faith in such a way as to honor Christ and his Word. Thus the Word of God must be central when presenting a rational defense for the Christian worldview. This being the case, the apologist who would honor Christ in his defense must have the scriptures be the background music of his mind; like a familiar tune which a child hums and recalls almost without thought the lyrics to the song, so must the Christian apologist be with regards to the scriptures. Not only does this help in recalling scripture when needed, but the background music of the scriptures reminds us silently how we ought to think and engage the unbeliever.
Lest we are tempted to think that the scriptures have no necessary relation to other fields of discussion such as science, philosophy, history, mathematics, etc., it most definitely does have a connection. Indeed, the scriptures and the worldview it presents is intimately related to all fields of knowledge and human experience. While it is true, that the Bible is not a science, philosophy, history textbook, it most definitely presents to us a particular and unique understanding of the world in which such fields of knowledge even make sense in the first place. Thus we must not only work towards mastering those fields of knowledge, but we must also work hard in understanding how the scriptures provide a foundation for why those fields of knowledge are intelligible at all. Let us never forget that knowledge is a gift of God and can only be grounded in the Lord of Knowledge, in the one whom “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden”, Jesus Christ the Lord. Let us honor the Word made flesh by allowing the Word written be the background music to our mind, thinking and lives. “For it is by his light that we see light”.