Fast Facts is a weekly email program where we provide our readers with relevant and practical resources to contend for the faith (Jude 3) and to be ready with an answer (1 Peter 3:15). We trust that these quick and helpful tools will give you greater confidence in sharing the truth of Jesus Christ.

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This Week’s Fast Facts

Fast Facts on Apologetics & Evangelism – Part I

  • The primary mission Jesus Christ gave the Church was to go into the whole world and make disciples of him (Matthew 28:19-20). Apologetics is an essential tool in fulfilling this mission.
  • Apologetics is the science and art of defending the Christian faith. The word apologetics comes from the Greek legal term ‘apologia’, which means ‘to give a defense’.
  • Having an ability to practice apologetics is necessary for believers as we are called to proactively ‘contend’ with non-believers and false worldviews (Jude 3).
  • The skill of apologetics is also helpful as Christians are called to be ready always to provide answers to those who ask us about our faith (1 Peter 3:15).
  • However, having answers alone is not enough. The manner in which we as believers do apologetics is as important as the words we express (1 Peter 3:15).
  • Remember, you can win the intellectual battle yet lose the war for a person’s heart!

For more information on why and how we should engage in Christian apologetics, please check out the book, Apologetics for a New Generation, available in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

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This Week’s Fast Facts

Fast Facts on Advent Apologetics – December 25th as the Date of Christmas

  • There is no historical evidence that Jesus was born on December 25th. However, while this date is improbable it is not impossible. A springtime date, though, better fits the gospel accounts of the birth of Christ. So, where does the December 25th date for Christmas come from?
  • Historical evidence shows Christians observing December 25th as the date of Christ’s birth as early as the 200’s A.D. However, the first official Christmas celebration occurred on December 25, 336 A.D. after Roman Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity.
  • The most likely reason the early Church chose December 25th as the date to celebrate Christ’s birth was simply because of the metaphorical significance of the winter solstice to the arrival of the Messiah (i.e. the idea of light, new life, etc.).
  • It is also possible the Church chose December 25th as a rival to certain pagan religious practices in the Roman Empire that were centered on the winter solstice and the “birth” of their sun gods (Saturnalia, Mithra, Sol Invictus, etc.).
  • Some Christians become concerned when considering the possibility that our December 25th celebration of Christmas might have any association with pagan religious practices, even if as a rival.
  • However, while it is right to be concerned as Christians about syncretism with non-Christian religious practices, we must also remember that the Church has historically viewed the reshaping of culture as a positive endeavor.
  • When it comes to our celebration of Christmas on December 25th, like Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), we can affirm that, “We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of Him who made it.”

Give the gift of apologetics this Christmas! We’ve got some great resources, like the book, Apologetics For A New Generation, available in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

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