EMERGING VALUES ~ APOLOGETICS
Apologetics is rooted in Middle English, meaning formal defense, from Latin apologeticus, from Greek apologitikos, suitable for defense, from apologeisthai, to defend oneself verbally, from apologos, apology, story. As such people in the emerging church view apologetics not so much as discipline within theology to give a defense for Christianity, in some logical, sequential, linear, didactic type of engagement, but as simply a retelling of the “story”, the narratives of Scripture, that reveal who God is, and how He has engaged Himself with the world through Jesus Christ, placing more trust in the work of the Holy Spirit, than in the forms of logic and rhetoric to defend the cause of Christ.
To those within the emerging church, there is a greater reliance of the mystery of the work of the Holy Spirit, rather than in the power of words to convince the human mind and heart. This is rather Reformed in one sense, as the Reformed tradition by and large in the soteriological [doctrine of salvation] system they espouse believe very strongly that unless the Spirit of God brings about the new birth, then it is impossible to please God, and impossible to convince anyone concerning the truth of who God is. Those within the Reformed tradition should be assuaged that this view of apologetics is not hanging out “on a broken limb,” a la Shirley McLain.