What is Apologetics?
The word is a transliteration of a Greek word found in the New Testament, apologia. This word simply means to give a defense or to vindicate. In the context of the Judeo-Christian Bible this word is given a theological meaning which is what we use it for: A reasoned defense of the truth and presenting grounds for Christian hope. Although there are several verses which can be systematically relevant to this definition (ex. 2 Corinthians 5:20, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Acts 17:17, Romans 12:2), the main verse at the center is 1 Peter 3:15 which reads “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”. This definition beats within the heart and soul of not only discipleship, but evangelism, in the Christian way of life.
Here at South Dakota Apologetics we have a passion for both disciplining and evangelizing. Our goal is not to take the place of the local Church, but to strengthen and support it. We exist to connect those with an interest in becoming reasonable defenders of their faith. But not only that, we also want each Christian who desires to use their minds to glorify God to also develop a Messianic love for the lost. We want Christians to realize that apologetic evangelism is not about winning an argument; we are aware apologetics has gotten a bad reputation in some circles, and we want to help change that. As the ministry Stand To Reason often titles their youth conferences: we want Christians to Re-Think Apologetics. Ultimately, to be a good ambassador for Christ, we must be about God’s business of compassion and mercy. Even the most hardened skeptic is a lost soul in chains and we want every Christian that gets equipped to have that in mind when witnessing.
SDA also has a vision for Christians in South Dakota. Our vision is to unite all those who have a passion for the truth, get them connected, get them trained and help them become a light for Christ in the very community they live. Now we are not claiming God gave us this vision, or that we attained some special revelation. Our vision is simply a common goal which formed from our aspiration to be obedient to our Lord. God has given us gifts and skills which we don’t intend to waste – instead, we want to let the Christian who reads this to know that we are here for you. If this ignites an excitement within you to act, then we want to hear from you!
In service to Him,
We exist to help inform, educate and equip the body of Christ in your local area. Ask us to speak to your large or small group on topics like:
- Morality, Relativism & Grounding Truth
- God’s Existence & The Beginning of the Universe
- The Case For Free Will
- Is There A Problem of Evil?
- Dinosaurs & The Bible
- Answering The Top Ten Questions of Skeptics
- The Cults: JWs, Mormons & others
- Examining The Religion of Islam
- LGBTQ: Engaging Today’s Culture
- Is Abortion The Murder of Valuable Human Persons?
- I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist
- Conquer Your Fear: Share Your Faith Crash Course
- Hell’s Best Kept Secret
- True & False Conversion
- Crafting The Message
More to come…
Please inquire for questions on cost: We strive to be able to speak free of charge, and depending on your location we may be able to do that. Some of our speakers will need to be reimbursed for travel expenses.
Our speakers are knowledgeable in many areas of theology and apologetics. They are trained and mentored by some of the best apologists of our time.
- Brian Johnson
- With a particular interest in the scientific side of apologetics and a heart for the youth, Brian will equip your group to have an answer ready for why you believe what you believe.
- Mathew Irwin
- Matt is passionate about reaching the lost through sharing the gospel, teaching others how to do the same and coming along side churches in that effort.
- Aaron Knudson
- After coming to Christ thru learning about evangelism, aaron’s passion for equipping the church for the work of evangelism shined through. He will teach your group to effectively fulfill the great commission.
- Justin Hornbaker
- Ethics, moral truth and defining the Gospel are Justin’s strengths in apologetics. He will teach you how to be prepared to give an answer while leading the lost to Christ.
Who is South Dakota Apologetics?
- SDA’s founding board members & directors are:
- Aaron Knudson – Director of Evangelism & Outreach
- Mathew Irwin – Director of Church Relationships & Operations, Board Treasurer
- Brian Johnson – Director of Social Media & Communications
- Justin Hornbaker – Director of Art & Digital Media, Board Secretary & Membership
- Peter Irwin – Associate Director of Evangelism & Outreach
- SDA Members are every Ambassador for Christ that agrees to our Statement of Faith (below), chooses to take part in what we are doing and assists in equipping the saints for God’s work of speaking the truth to all nations.
- Members to note from our Sioux Falls branch are:
- Bill Coyle – Co-leader of the Saturday morning Apologetics group
- David Fleming – Co-leader of the Saturday morning Apologetics group
- Visit the Events page to get informed on the Sioux Falls apologetics group calendar.
- To contact our official members in any branch throughout SD please fill out the form on our contact page, thank you.
- Members to note from our Sioux Falls branch are:
South Dakota Apologetics’ Statement of Faith
- The Bible, consisting of all the books of the Old and New Testament, is the Word of God, a supernaturally given revelation from God Himself, concerning Himself, His being, nature, character, will and purposes; and concerning man, his nature, need and duty and destiny. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are without error or misstatement in their moral and spiritual teaching and record of historical facts. They are without error or defect of any kind in the autographs. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)
- There is one God, eternally existing in three Persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 44:6-8; 45:5; Gen. 1:26-27; 3:22; Matt. 28:19; Luke 9:35; 2 Cor. 13:14)
- Our Lord Jesus was supernaturally conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, Mary, a lineal descendant of David. (Luke 1:26-37) He lived and taught and performed mighty works, wonders and signs exactly as recorded in the New Testament. He was put to death by crucifixion under Pontius Pilate. (Luke 23) God raised from the dead the body that had been nailed to the cross. The Lord Jesus, after His crucifixion, showed Himself to be alive to His disciples, appearing to them in the space of forty days. After this the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven, and the Father made Him to be head over all things, including the Church. (Luke 24; John 2:19; 1 Cor. 15)
- The Lord Jesus, before His incarnation, existed in the exact form of God, and of His own choice, laid aside His divine glory and took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. He is a divine person possessed of all the attributes of deity and should be worshiped as God by angels and men. (John 1:1; Phil. 2:5-11) “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col. 2:9)
- By His death on the cross, the Lord Jesus made a perfect atonement for sin, by which the wrath of God against sinners is appeased and a ground furnished upon which God can deal in mercy with sinners. He redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse in our place. He Who Himself was absolutely without sin had our sin counted to Him that we might have His righteousness, the righteousness of God, counted to us. (1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2; 3:4, Isaiah 53:4-6; 2 Cor. 5:21; John 19:30)
- The Lord Jesus is coming again to this earth, personally, bodily, and visibly. (1 Thess. 4:16-17; Heb. 9:28; Rev 1:7)
- The Holy Spirit is a person distinct from the Father and the Son, and possesses all of the divine attributes. He is God. (Mt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 3:16-18)
- Man was created in the image of God, after his likeness, and therefore has transcendent, intrinsic worth. Gen. 1:27) The (biblically) unjustified destruction of any human being from conception to natural death (e.g., through abortion, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, doctor-assisted suicide, etc.) is wrong. (Ex. 21:22)
- The whole human race fell in the fall of the first Adam. All men, apart from spiritual regeneration, are lost, darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, hardened in heart, morally and spiritually dead through their trespasses and sins. They cannot see nor enter the Kingdom of God until they are born again of the Holy Spirit. (Jn. 6:28-29; 8:44; 15:5; Phil. 1:29; Rom. 3:10-12; 8:7; Jn. 1:13; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:8-9)
- Men are justified on the simple and single ground of the shed blood of Christ and upon the simple and single condition of faith in Him Who shed His blood, and are born again by the quickening, renewing, cleansing work of the Holy Spirit, through the instrumentality of the Word of God. These alone become children of God and receive eternal life. At death their spirits depart to be with Christ in conscious blessedness, and at the second coming of Christ their bodies shall be raised, transformed into the likeness of the body of His glory. (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 3:20-28; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 4:1-6; Gal. 2:21)
- All those who persistently reject Jesus Christ in this present life shall be raised from the dead, judged according to their deeds, and punished for their moral crimes and rebellion against God. Throughout eternity they will exist in a state of conscious isolation from God, in endless torment and anguish. (Mt. 8:12; Lk. 16:19-31; Rev. 20:14-15; 21:8)
- The Church consists of the host of the regenerate, wherever they may be found. It is the body and bride of Christ, which Christ loves and for which He has given Himself. (Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 21:2; 2 Cor. 11:2)
- There is a personal devil, a being of great cunning who can exert vast power only so far as God allows him to do so. He shall ultimately be judged and condemned, tormented day and night forever. (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6; Mt. 25:41)
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life and to perform good works that are the necessary evidence of their genuine faith in Christ. Persistent, egregious sin (e.g., lying, stealing, witchcraft, active practice of sexual sin, including fornication, adultery, and homosexuality) is inconsistent with biblical teaching. (Ex. 20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-6; Rom. 1:18-32)
- Biblical marriage consists only of a faithful, heterosexual union between one genetic male and one genetic female, and biblical marriage is the only legitimate and acceptable context for a sexual relationship. (Gen. 2:22-24; Mt. 19:4-6; Heb. 13:4-7)
Statement of Faith on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of SDA as representatives of the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Christian community who follow SDA and in general, it is imperative that all persons employed by SDA in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.)
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of SDA.
To glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, to edify the genuine body of Christ, and to reach the lost of this world with the Law and the Gospel the way Jesus and the apostles did.
To further equip Christians around the world to be bold ambassadors of Jesus Christ by helping to start intensive apologetic training seminars, ongoing discipleship, and networking encompassing every aspect of ministry and training provided by SDA in their local community and Church body.
Equipping Ambassadors of Christ of all ages and every walk of life, in every community and on every street, denying themselves, taking up their crosses daily, and proclaiming the Law and the gospel; inspiring a God-glorifying passion in every Christian to be prepared to give everyone reasons for the hope of Christ within them, and to fulfill the Great Commission, resulting in world-wide spiritual revival.
An ambassador is a person who serves as a representative or envoy of a king from one country to another. An ambassador of Jesus Christ is a person who has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and who serves the King of kings and the Lord of lords. An ambassador is also a herald of God’s truth; a herald delivers a message given to them, they do not share their own ideas. The primary function of Christ’s ambassadors is to bring the King’s message (the Gospel) from the Kingdom of God to the kingdom of this lost and fallen world.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15