Both new and returning Stoa members ask ‘What is apologetics?’ and ‘Why is Stoa committed to providing Apologetics as an on-going speech event?’
The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense or an answer given in reply. In ancient Athens, it referred to a defense made in the courtroom as part of the normal judicial procedure. After the accusation, the defendant was allowed to refute the charges with a defense or reply (apologia). The accused would attempt to “speak away” (apo—away, logia—speech) the accusation.1 (https://bible.org/seriespage/what-apologetics)
We find in 1 Peter 3:15 that believers are told always to be prepared “to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.” When challenged or even threatened, Christians are to behave lawfully and give a reasoned defense of what they believe to anyone who asks. So, it is Biblical to be prepared to provide a defense of your faith.
Just as described in our Stoa goal for Apologetics, the value of this unique speech event is that competitors will be motivated to study, articulate, and defend the core issues of their faith in a knowledgeable, sincere, and respectful manner to others. Although these speeches may or may not be evangelistic, Apologetics enable each student to practice developing well-considered, Biblical content when responding to questions of the faith posed by others. This skill can provide the deeper understanding of their faith so they can determine how to best communicate that Truth throughout life.
All Stoa members should consider participating in Apologetics this year as a part of personal Bible study and Christian growth. Being a part of it can enable you to wrestle through many of life’s questions and provide some insightful discussions with parents, coaches, mentors, and friends. Apologetics brings action and meaning to our Stoa verse: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”