2 Tim 3.16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

The Humanism of Evangelistic Apologetics

Calling out the Evangelistic Apologists.

The Scripture is an amazing book, and I have truly enjoyed comparing what the Bible actually teaches relative to the numerous errors presented by modern, evangelistic apologists.

These directly applicable Bible topics are very familiar and beloved to me, and I have cherished the time studying and presenting what the Scripture teaches concerning them in this article:

  • the spiritual nature of the lost;
  • the election of grace;
  • the vital and powerful work of the Holy Spirit;
  • the privilege of presenting the gospel without the admixture of any and all humanism;
  • the majestic truths of Romans 1;
  • the resurrection of the Lord Christ;

and other Bible truths related to them.

However, I knew that this series must include this rebuttal chapter where I call out the errors of modern evangelistic apologists. I personally grieve that this is the case, but our times and culture demand it if the Scripture is to be properly defended against this attack of what is this “raw humanism” and the construction and implementation of another gospel.

It is this chapter in which I actually perform biblical apologetics, a proper defense against those who infect the Christian community with the virus of their humanistic message and so-called “evangelism”.

In order to be able to accurately assess evangelistic apologetics, I first thoroughly reviewed each of the articles cited in this chapter (currently 16). And, as I hope you noticed in many, many places in the other chapters, I referred to broad generalizations of evangelistic apologetics, the details of which I deferred to this chapter.

It is therefore now—this chapter—where I demonstrate the validity and truth of those summary generalizations by providing the evidence from their own words.

I can tell you honestly that I have not enjoyed the thought of having to write this chapter. I can also tell you that I can’t not write this chapter, calling out those who are actively pushing a discipline (loosely so-called) that is contrary to the Word of God. If the Scripture is true and consistent—and it is!—then it is necessary to expose those who actively teach error regarding this important topic.

You’ll find nearly no end of articles on apologetics on the web (usually associated with evangelism and evangelistic methodology). After considerable study and review, I have concluded that these have their genesis within our intellectual and postmodern culture rather than from the Bible. Some are “slightly” wrong; others are over-the-top heresy.

[I know, attempting to make a moral distinction in scope here is difficult, if not practically meaningless.]

As I pointed out in an earlier chapter, a modern presentation of evangelistic apologetics can and should be viewed at its heart as the presentation of “another gospel”. And if this judgment is valid—and I believe that I’ve shown from the Bible just how wrong and unbiblical it is—then it is indeed another gospel worthy, only and absolutely, of being accursed.

If you take the time to review the writings of modern evangelistic apologists, there really is not much difference between them; they pretty much say the same things in pretty much the same way using pretty much the same misused and ignored texts for support.

Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that my critique of these individual authors will say much the same thing. While this risks being redundant, I do this for those readers who don't read every review. In case you do actually read each of my reviews, then it should serve to emphasize just how frequently the modern apologist “gets it wrong”, At the same time I hope that you’ll gain a sense of the magnitude of the error along with a disposition of urgency to identify, confront and correct it biblically.

Also as you read my reviews you'll find these very common characteristics (in no particular order):

  • The paucity of Scripture marshaled for support.
  • The near non-mention of the Scriptures that contradict modern, evangelistic apologetics. Of those that are actually mentioned, there is the tortuous, convolved distortion of said Scripture in the futile (and laughable, if it wasn’t actually a distortion of the Word of God) attempt to make it say the opposite of what it really says. [1 Cor 2.14 is the example of this egregious error.]
  • The taking of said Scriptures out-of-context.
  • The use of said Scriptures with very limited context (that is, ignoring the full context and using just that portion that supports their humanistic narrative).
  • The general degradation and mitigation of the true gospel of grace.
  • The elevation of the intellect of the lost, casting the issue primarily as a “battle of wits” (my characterization) with the lost.
  • The tacit assumption that the lost is not really spiritually dead or utterly unable to comprehend anything spiritual.
  • The non-mention of the sovereignty of God in the salvation of the lost.
  • The near non-mention of repentance and the issues of sin.
  • The near non-mention of the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of the lost.
  • The conspicuous and intrinsic value of the apologist and apologetics in the proclamation of the gospel and, in extreme cases, the near elimination of the need to preach of the gospel without first using apologetics to "prepare the lost".
  • The implicit arrogance of the evangelistic apologist by his/her assumptions of the roles and responsibilities that belong to the Triune God alone.
  • The cavalier attitude with which the evangelistic apologist redefines evangelism and the preaching of the gospel as "apologetics"—an "apologetics" which essentially replaces the gospel with their own message of intellectualism.
  • The universal misunderstanding of what really took place during Paul’s sermon in Athens in Act 17.
  • The universal misapplication of Romans chapter 1 as an evangelistic apologetic.
  • The universal misapplication of the resurrection of the Lord Christ as an evangelistic apologetic. 
  • The near-universal misuse of the Greek noun and verb ἀπολογία and ἀπολογέομαι, respectively.
  • The (essentially) universal misapplication of apologists’ canonical verse, 1 Pet 3.15. [I found one apologist who actually uses this text almost correctly.]

Since I intend these reviews to be a single logical chapter, I placed on this page links to each review/critique in order to keep this chapter from becoming a novelette. Below, each is linked to my review along with the original link to the author's article. I also repeat the link to the original article in each of my reviews.


An Introduction to Apologetics
Matt Slick
, June 19, 2009

How to do Apologetics, an Outline
Ryan Turner


What is Apologetics? An Outline
Ryan Turner


An illustration of what apologetics really is
Matt Slick


What is the role of apologetics in evangelism?
Matt Slick


What is Apologetics?
[Author not specified]

Christian Evangelism: Apologetics and Evangelism
James P. Holding


What is the relationship between apologetics and evangelism?
[Author not specified]

Part 1 of 2
Why use apologetics for evangelism?

Responses by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati


Part 2 of 2
Why use apologetics for evangelism?
Responses by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati


What is ‘Apologetics’?
Paul Coulter


What is the relationship between Evangelism and Apologetics?
[Author not specified]


Apologetics : Why your church needs it
J.M. Njoroge


Christian Apologetics: The Evangelistic Wave of the Future?
Dr. Richard D. Land


Apologetic evangelism: an oxymoron?
Phillip Jensen


Christian Apologetics: Who Needs It?
William Lane Craig


Evangelism and Apologetics
Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen


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