What is Advent?
Advent is the four-week period beginning on the Sunday nearest the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30) through the following three Sundays. Historians estimate that Advent has been celebrated since the fourth century. The period originally began as a time for converts to Christianity to prepare for baptism, but is now more commonly associated with the anticipation of the traditional anniversary of Christ’s birth on December 25.
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus,” which means “coming” or “visit.” In the season with this name, we keep in mind both “advents” of Christ, the first in Bethlehem and the one yet to come.
What is Apologetics?
One of the more standard definitions is as follows; ‘Apologetics is the branch of Christian theology which attempts to give a rational defense of the Christian faith.’ I take a different approach to apologetics which you can read here.
Christian Apologetics has gotten a bad name, and I believe it’s deserving. Red-Faced fellows with loud voices speak cleverly crafted words to defend their stances while speaking little of the Savior and the hope of His Gospel.
B. B. Warfield, nicknamed “The Lion of Princeton,” defined apologetics as:
“The systematically organized vindication of Christianity in all its elements and details, against all opposition.” (Works, 9:5)
Much of modern apologetics remains rooted in this sort of militaristic mind-set, tactics over tactfulness, hype over hope, and debate over discipleship. It might seem odd to throw Advent and Apologetics into the same arena, but for the coming days, I’ll operate under the following two assumptions;
“Apologetics is not about defending your faith.”
“Advent is about being hopeful in the midst of others.”
Advent Apologetics is about being inclined to hope and poised to demonstrate that hope amongst others. It’s about being a living sacrifice and our reasonable service of worship to God and others. (Romans 12:1)
Over the course of Advent, I hope to lead up to the most well known and most misapplied text of Christian Apologetics, 1 Peter 3:15. I’ll develop the theme by using some other obscure and often overlooked passages from the bible.
Today’s text is Jeremiah 1:9,10
“Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me,
“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
“See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To pluck up and to break down,
To destroy and to overthrow,
To build and to plant.”
This passage speaks to the true connection of Apologetics and Advent. It starts with hope for Jeremiah and the people and ends with the same. It’s about deconstructing and restructuring unhopeful assumptions, residing in community, and reassuring those who need it most. It’s about accepting our calling to do God’s will amongst His people in His strength. It’s about advocating in transforming frontiers. It’s about the reconciliation of the marginalized. It’s about recognizing our struggles and the struggles of others as we live and move and exist. It’s about alleviating fear which paralyzes hope and remembering God’s promises as we take part in His ADVENTure.
I am a missionary in the Cloud Forest Region of Ecuador, We have been Adventing for the past 10 years by providing food to those in the region that need it most during the holiday season. We’d invite you to join us in this. Find out more.