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If we live long enough, grief is something that we will all experience at one point or another. Grief is difficult. Some have even said that “grief is a challenging beast.” It impacts each person differently. Grief is a sense of sorrow that one feels when a person experiences a form of loss. More frequently, this loss is associated with those who have had loved ones who passed away. However, grief can also include the loss of a job, friendship, hobby, or position.

As I have dealt with loss in my personal life, I have surprisingly found how beneficial apologetics is when going through times of sorrow. Apologetics—that is, the defense of the Christian faith—may seem like an unlikely ally of bereavement and psychospiritual care, as many associate it with the headier intellectual avenues of the Christian faith. Nonetheless, apologetics can assist one with their grief in three specific ways.

Apologetics Gives Stability Through Times of Grief.

First, apologetics can give stability through times of grief. When a person experiences loss, they may feel as if their world has irreparably changed. And in some ways, it has. The loss of a loved one evokes a sense of what some grief counselors call the “new normal.” That is, it speaks to the continuity of life without the physical presence of the loved one.

While it cannot repair the hurt one feels, apologetics can offer concrete proofs for the Christian faith, which remain intact regardless of the changes of life. For instance, resurrection studies and explorations into near-death experiences have intensified my belief in heaven. These studies assure me that Christ has defeated death and, thereby, assured that life continues into eternity. My theological studies point that the same God who brought victory over death remains the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8, CSB). When the world seems as if it has turned upside down, apologetics and theological studies can give a sense of security.

After getting sick on a boat in the Atlantic due to turbulent waters, it was seeing the Oak Island Lighthouse that eventually alleviated my nausea. The lighthouse was like a North Star, a fixed point amid the chaos of the moment. In like manner, apologetics can offer us an anchor in a sea of chaos.

Apologetics Grants Security Though Times of Grief.

Second, apologetics grants security through times of grief. Here, security implies increased faith. The field of apologetics is intended to bolster a person’s faith. The goal of the apologist should be to lead believers to deeper belief, while offering skeptics a reason to believe.

When we lose someone near and dear to us, our world is turned upside-down. We may wonder why God allowed such a thing to happen, thus entering the realm of theodicy (why a loving God allows evil in the world). If left unresolved, a person could suffer emotional doubt.

Even though apologetics cannot guarantee that a person will never suffer emotional doubt, apologetics can equip a person with better tools to deal with emotional doubt when it arises. Coupled with a solid systematic theology, a person can better trust God with the uncertainties of life.

Grief counselor David Kessler once said, “Human beings had rather feel guilty than helpless.” He goes on to say, “The guilt you feel during grief comes from the belief that you could have been there and stopped it from happening. Guilt can be released when you find the compassion for yourself to know that you’re not in control, and maybe never were.”[i] Helplessness is a difficult pill to swallow. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have felt overwhelmed by the helplessness while working in hospice.

Nonetheless, when we know the One in control and that that One is a benevolent, compassionate, and faith friend, then it makes the grief process much easier to process. That does not mean that apologetics affords a comprehensive understanding as to why certain things happen as they do. No one but God Himself could answer that question. But it will spur faith in the One who maintains such comprehensive knowledge.

Apologetics Gifts Serenity Through Times of Grief

Finally, apologetics gifts us with serenity through times of grief, especially for those who have lost loved ones through the passage of death. As previously noted, studies of the resurrection of Jesus assures us that death has been defeated and that an afterlife exists. Studies of near-death experiences highlights what that experience may be like in the intermediate state.[ii]

Coming into hospice with this knowledge opened the door to see certain things through an individual’s passage into eternity that I may have otherwise missed. Nonetheless, when a person loses someone near and dear to them, such studies offer the bereaved a serenity about the afterlife that cannot be obtained in any other fashion. If a person has an assurance of an eternal life in heaven with God through Christ, then even death loses its sting (1 Cor. 15:55).


Grief is a natural emotion that comes with loss. Everyone grieves differently. Some are tearful, whereas others are more Stoic. Some need time with a lot of people, while others need time alone. Grief is something that we will all experience at some point. Yet, as this article has shown, apologetics can assist us during our times of grief. It can give us something concrete to hold to, a North Star to direct us, or a lighthouse to ascertain a sense of security in a turbulent ocean of change. Most importantly, apologetics should bolster our faith in the One who created not only North Star and land upon which the lighthouse stands, but also the sky’s canvas and the ocean itself. In the end, our serenity, security, and stability are not in apologetics, but in the Triune God for whom apologetics encourages us to place our truth.



[i] David Kessler,

[ii] The “intermediate state” refers to the time between a person’s death and the final resurrection that accompanies the return of Christ.

Recommended resources related to the topic:

If God, Why Evil? (DVD Set), (MP3 Set), and (mp4 Download Set) by Frank Turek

Why Doesn’t God Intervene More? (DVD Set), (MP3 Set), and (mp4 Download Set) by Frank Turek

Why does God allow Bad Things to Happen to Good People? (DVD) and (mp4 Download) by Frank Turek 

Relief From the Worst Pain You’ll Ever Experience (DVD) (MP3) (Mp4 Download) by Gary Habermas 


Brian G. Chilton earned his Ph.D. in the Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University (with high distinction). He is the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast and the founder of Bellator Christi. Brian received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); earned a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, and plans to purse philosophical studies in the near future. He is also enrolled in Clinical Pastoral Education to better learn how to empower those around him. Brian is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Brian has served in ministry for over 20 years and currently serves as a clinical hospice chaplain as well as a pastor.

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