Persuasion versus Argument in Apologetics


Apologetics for the Church

persuade_othersPersuasion versus Argument

The good news when it comes to evangelism and apologetics is that Jesus does not call us to argue with people in a contentious manner, but rather to seek to persuade. The good news of Jesus was never spread through quarreling, but through persuasion. Persuasion can be defined as the art of speaking to people who are indifferent or resistant to what we have to say, and moving them closer to our position.[1] Returning to 1 Peter 3:15-16 we note several principles regarding persuasion in apologetics:[2]

  1. Apologetics is not about starting arrogant arguments with unbelievers. We are not trying to prove them wrong, humiliate them, or make ourselves feel smarter. Rather, our goal is to present a reasonable defense of the truths of the Christian faith. As Kevin DeYoung says, “We don’t want people to think that we are always right, but we want them to know…

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