By Anton Williams, Founder
The Apologetical Missions
One of the greatest needs in missiology and missiological practice in the world today is a well defined apologetic in missions.
Contextualization, Cross Cultural Communication, Anthropology, Theology of Mission and other disciplines within missiology are essential. Apologetics in Mission enhances each of these while adding a much needed focus on reasons to believe as well as a missiologists, missionary or mission personnel usage
Apologetical Missions is a focus that I am pioneering an interdisciplinary field that is ecumenical in scope and yet specifically defined. This interdisciplinary field will combine cosmology, biology, archaeology, classical history, linguistics and theology in order to provide reasons to believe. This interdisciplinary field is designed to not only incorporate the apologetics as used at the beginning of a spiritual formation but also track this throughout a persons life. This apologetic encompasses physiology and psychology as part of the interdisciplinary work which examines the impact of God through a person life post conversion.
The mandate of apologetics in missions focuses on the Great Commission and the reasons to believe as provided within scripture
In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 28, Jesus gives the Great Commission command to go and make disciples of all the nations. This would inevitably involve some cross cultural aspects of mission as people leave their country to visit others in order to make disciples in all nations.
1 Peter 3:15 is a primary text to examine specifically for apologetics in mission. Peter advises Christians to be ready to give a defense for reason they are Christians. This would undoubtedly pertain to missionaries who preach the gospel to unbelievers
The Examines of Apologetics in Mission as Contained in the New Testament
One of the primary areas of focus on preaching the gospel in mission outreach is to announce the message of what to believe.
Apologetical Missions focuses on why to believe
There are two examples in the New Testament of a person proclaiming the gospel to unbelievers. While doctrine should not necessarily be made on historical passages of scripture; these sections of the text are informative. Both of these speeches come from the Apostle Paul as recorded in Acts 14 and Acts 17. In Acts 14 Paul is addressing people in the city of Lystra and in Acts 17 he addresses people in Athens.
ACTS 14 - APOLOGETICS IN MISSIONS
PURPOSE OF THE MESSAGE = WHAT IS TO BELIEVE
"You should turn...to the living God, who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and all things that are in them" Acts 14:15
APOLOGETICS - WHY TO BELIEVE
"(God) in bygone generation allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness. He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:16-17)
The Apostle not only told them what to believe. Namely that there is a living God who created the universe. Then the apologetic is the reason and the proof of why they are to believe. The reason to believe that there is a living God who made the universe is that there is an orderly system in the universe which intricacies of design not only indicates a personal God who loves people, but that the system is designed to specifically benefit people.
Scientific advancement of the last two millennia have further corroborated this. For example, if the density levels in Dark Energy in the universe was changed in 1 part to 10 with 120 zeros behind it then the universe could not support life. The probability of this system being in place by random chance and without a God is an astronomical impossibility.
ACTS 17 - APOLOGETICS IN MISSIONS
PURPOSE OF THE MESSAGE = WHAT IS TO BE BELIEVED
"God who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth does not dwell in temples made with hands." (Acts 17:23)
APOLOGETICS = WHY TO BELIEVE
"In Him we live and move and have our being as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are his offspring.' Therefore since we are the offspring of God we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising" (Acts 17:28-29)
METHODOLOGY OF APOLOGETICAL MISSIONS IN OUTREACH
ACTS 14 and 17 gives an example of a method of outreach to unbelievers (who weren't monotheist).
Paul describes God as creator of the universe
He gives reason to believe that God as creator of the universe
From there Paul uses discussion on God to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as people are saved from the penalty of their sins
Apologetical Missions as an academic interdisciplinary field
Apologetical Missions as an interdisciplinary field should combine the following disciplines which are an important part of witnessing:
Cosmology/Astronomy - Witness to God creating the universe in an orderly system which is impossible to occur by random chance
Biology - Witness to God creating people with intricacies in their nature which are impossible by random chance
Science of Probability - A witness to the definiteness of God as creator due to the impossibility of the universe, prophecies being fulfilled by random chance
Classical History/Linguistics and Archaeology - Witness to the Bible as being a truthful record. These fields can help objectively demonstrate that the Bible was written in the eras as recorded in the text and that proof from prophecies fulfilled in history later on is a clear demonstration that God exists, the Bible is His Word and the content specific to Jesus Christ as God is true
Theology - Studying God as revealed in scripture
These are all fields in which data is testable and potentially falsifiable. Yet, God, His revelation as Jesus Christ and the Bible as His Word has passed the objective examinations.