Christian apologetics refers to the defense of faith against spreading of spiritual falsehood. These individuals guard religious values and morals, as evidenced during the second century (101-200AD). Everett Ferguson identifies Adam as a representative and guard of God’s practices in the Garden of Eden (Ferguson and George 2016). The serpent sent by the evil to contradict the Divine message of God represents the devil. In this case, Adam was supposed to refute any sinful act against Almighty’s interests. His failure to protect Biblical values and morals was expected from a Christian apologist. It is common for humankind to sin through trickery and misguided spiritual practices. Vulnerable individuals facing social challenges such as poverty and violence can engage in spiritual ways that defy sacred principles. Essentially, Christian apologetics of the second century enhanced spiritual security by protecting the accuracy and authenticity of Biblical morals and virtues.
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Believers faced many accusations leading to large-scale persecution among the followers during the second century. The religion constituted a minority community population within the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, Christianity was considered a cult and participants were punished heavily when found practicing an outlawed religious faith. It was illegal for followers to engage in spiritual traditions entailing praise and worship in public places (Stanley 2017). Apologetics understood the essence of suffering and executions as part of Christianity, hence, endured the strenuous course.
Additionally, apologists responded to leaders of the Roman Empire using letters with adequate facts from the Holy Scripture. Many Romans, as highlighted above, practiced paganism and had little faith in Christian values. The demonization of this religion scared potential followers from spiritual conversion as advocated by the then martyr. Apologists responded by failing to participate in rituals which went against values of Christianity. For instance, Justin wrote to Emperor Antoninus Pius urging him to make the religion legal (Williams 2020). His letter was an appeal for public recognition by fellow Romans that Christians were not enemies of the empire.
Apologetic principles are relevant and applicable to modern social contexts when keenly perceived. False diviners have emerged from the Christian faith spreading invalid and inaccurate Biblical values. For instance, it is common to find preachers urging followers to join Christianity to escape difficulties associated with humanity. Such information is false as apologetic principles note that suffering is part of the religion evidenced by Jesus Christ on the cross. Other individuals spread incorrect information regarding the faith and presence of spiritual demons. Getting the evil out, as advocated by some believers, entails a physical process where a victim ends with severe injuries. Modern Christians can adopt similar apologetic principles which guide spiritual practices of fighting evil spirits among humans.
The thread highlights essential information regarding rejection of Christianity by the Roman Empire in the second century. People in Rome were reluctant to adopt values of their counterparts for different reasons. For instance, some associated its religious practices with a cult considered illegal by authorities. Paganism had spread deeply among Romans denouncing other religions (Moore 2017). I agree that accusations against Christians were intended to reduce the faith’s influence from spreading to residents. It would imply a shift in spiritual culture, which latter actualized, after the empire adopted substantial values. I believe this would be critical in transforming leadership practices of the Roman Empire.
Fake spiritual news is spreading fast in social media platforms where individuals spread false information about Christianity. Individuals engage in online malpractices to spiritually manipulate innocent users accessing digital information. Modern societies have adopted new communication practices that enhance human interaction contrary to traditional strategies. I am convinced that lack of information awareness on the real and accurate values requires adoption of apologetic principles that protected Christian values in the Roman Empire during the second century (Reid 2017). Modern apologists should advance spiritual arguments which convince factions practicing paganism about the valid Biblical message. It was objective to implement social campaigns enhancing information awareness on real and genuine Biblical principles.
Ferguson, Everett, and George Kalantzis. Understandings of the Church. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 2016.
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Moore, Ron. Worn Out by Obedience: Recovering from Spiritual Fatigue. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2017.
Reid, Alvin. Sharing Jesus without Freaking Out: Evangelism the Way You Were Born to Do It. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2017.
Stanley, Andy. Going Deep and Wide: A Companion Guide for Churches and Leaders. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017.
Williams, Daniel H. Defending and Defining the Faith: An Introduction to Early Christian Apologetic Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.