According to David Wheeler, Incarnational Apologetics, “is the representative public and private lifestyle of a Christian that validates to the world the absolute truths of the Bible.” It is practicing what you are preaching. A life that is consistent with the teachings of the Bible and consistently living it out. Incarnational Apologetics affects the way that evangelism is taught and acted out. It reminds us that evangelism is not just sharing the gospel but living the gospel. It is not just providing information; it is providing information being like Christ. Wheeler indicates, “‘informational’ apologetics without ‘incarnational’ validation will often lead to hypocrisy.” The connection I see between “incarnational” and “informational” is being a doer of the word. As we gain more knowledge of God’s word, we will apply it in our daily walk. The word of God gives us balance as we navigate between being “incarnational” and “informational” soul winners. 2 Timothy 2:15 reads, “15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We are to study to gain information. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) reads “15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” We are to share the gospel incarnationally with gentleness and respect. Gentleness and respect can be manifested in serving others. The saying goes “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. Wheeler states, “An unbelieving world will not believe what we say about Christ and our faith, until they first see the truth manifested through us.”
Incarnational Apologetics eliminates the barriers, the excuses to being a witness. We could have all the knowledge in witnessing. We can know all the techniques. Yet fear can stop us from being a witness. McRaney states, “Fear in its simplest form is a temporary loss of perspective. It is easy to focus on how someone might respond to me. It is also easy to forget how much people need the Lord and how much Christ desires a relationship with lost persons.” Incarnational Apologetics continually reminds us that it is not about us it is about that Lost soul. It helps us to keep perspective.
- Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the King James Bible (Lebanon, TN: , 1996).
- William McRaney, Jr., The Art of Personal Evangelism (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2003), 193.