“Do not let those who seem worthy of credit but teach strange doctrines fill you with apprehension. Stand firm, like an anvil which is beaten. It is the part of the noble athlete to be wounded and yet to conquer”...Ignatius’ letter to Polycarp, 110 AD.

No one said it better than the apostle Peter himself when he encouraged Christians to…

“sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence”…1 Peter 3:15

The imperative (command) in this passage is “to sanctify” (HAGIAZO), meaning “to set yourself apart.” As Ignatius declared in the quote above, we are to set ourselves apart from the rest of the world by standing firm, no matter what ridicule, insults, or offenses are hammered down upon us. Peter’s solution to making ourselves distinctive and unique is “always being ready to make a defense.”

As a former high school varsity basketball coach, I credit my teams’ success to the philosophy I was taught as a player: “Defense always travels.” Even when our best shooters were having a bad game or when we were on the road at one of those loud gyms with a rambunctious crowd, we always knew that if we played good defense, we would always have a chance to win. This “defense” the apostle Peter speaks of is going to be the focal point of the series of articles I will be sharing over the next few months.

The Christian discipline of apologetics stems from this word, which is “APOLOGIA” in the Greek text. Knowing this helps us to understand that apologetics has nothing to do with acting contrite and apologizing for what we believe. On the contrary, apologetics is the ability to make a defense by presenting arguments that exhibit the evidence for why we believe what we believe.

As the modern-day apologist, Michael Ramsden puts it…

“Most people’s understanding of the Christian faith is a misunderstanding. Apologetics helps clarify so that they may reject us on what we do believe, not on what we don’t.”

In other words, apologetics is how we help the thinkers in the world to believe and how we help believers to think.

C. S. Lewis said…

“The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects.”

God never intended for us to follow Him with blind faith. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He replied,

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind”…Matthew 22:37

We usually focus on loving God with our hearts and our souls, but we do not stop to think about how important it is to love Him with our minds.

Jesus also tells us that we,

will know the truth, and the truth will make you free”…John 8:32

Our faith is not something that is based on feelings and emotions. The faith that God expects us to have is grounded on the foundation of facts, knowledge, and truth. He has provided an ample amount of evidence for us to see, study, and know that He is real, that He is powerful, that He has all authority in heaven and on earth, and that He can always be trusted.

He wants us to use our minds to understand Him and His word better, and then He instructs us to speak up, speak out, and defend the truth.

Steve Schinnerer
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Steve Schinnerer was raised in the church in Scott City, KS where his father served as an elder for 25 years.  Steve attended Oklahoma Christian for one year where he met his wife, Jennifer, of Yukon, OK.  Steve and Jenni have four children: Ajay, Jagger, Liberty, and Jase, they also have 4 grandchildren. Jenni is a stay-at-home mom where she homeschools and is focused on raising her children in the Lord.

Steve and Jenni both attended Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver where they graduated: Steve with a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Theology, and Jenni with and Associates degree in Bible. 

Following Bear Valley, Steve and his family moved to Porter, OK where he served as their pulpit minister for six years, and then another six years as the pulpit minister for the Cherokee Hills church of Christ in Oklahoma City before coming to Cave Springs in the fall of 2013.

Steve and Jenni have a passion to teach the saving message of Jesus Christ and do so whether it be in their home congregation, at summer camps, gospel meetings, lectureships, or in the foreign mission field.  Steve has been able to preach in eight different countries around the world with most of his time abroad spent in Africa and Australia.  Steve and Jenni have recently been focusing on young families, trying to help strengthen marriages, encouraging parents to utilize Biblical discipline and training with their children and especially in helping men in their battle to become the husbands and fathers that God desires for them to be.