EXCELSIOR SPRINGS – Gabriel Zelaya is happy to discuss classical, presuppositional and evidential defenses of the faith, but he’s also ready to go when it comes to an oft overlooked branch of apologetics: worship.
Helping others learn to defend the faith and leading them in making a joyful noise unto the Lord are both in Zelaya’s wheelhouse. He is pursuing a goal of becoming a professor of apologetics and also leads worship at Pisgah Baptist Church, here. His interest in the convergence of the two is just one way he wishes apologetics were elevated by more believers.
“It might not always have been seen that way, but defense of the faith can be seen in worship,” he said. “Theology is linked to any kind of discipline, including apologetics and worship. If you look at music at it was developing in the early church, through the Reformation, you always see that it was not just a way to teach good theology and engage in an apologetic. But Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli were strong theologians and taught theology through their music.”
And just as believers are obliged to worship the Lord, so too are they obliged to be ready to defend their faith, Zelaya said.
“We need to be ready to answer questions; not just to answer the culture, but because Christ told us to,” he said “1 Peter 3: 15 [“But honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”] is a mandate for believers.”
Obedience to that mandate is more needed now than ever, Zelaya said.
“As our culture is shifting and Judeo-Christian values become more alien to people and more denied, we need to be more interested in apologetics and better understand what it means to defend faith,” he said. “The more people can study apologetics – even in the most lay manner – the better.
Zelaya is part of the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network. For his contact information, apologetic resources and more about the network, go to https://mobaptist.org/apologetics/mban/ or call 573.636.0400.