While apologists often cite 1 Peter 3:15, focusing on the command to be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you,” some tend to neglect the rest of the command, “yet do it with gentleness and respect.” Think about apologetics training in a church or school context. Each lesson usually focuses on philosophical, theological, or historical issues and the instructor often gives less attention to the personal aspects of practical engagement in everyday conversations. The content isn’t bad, but we need practical training for having conversations, too.
In this post, I’ll share three ideas we need to incorporate into the way we think about engaging in apologetics: First, we need to see apologetics as ministry. Second, we need to adapt our approach to a shifting culture. Third, we need to earn the right to be heard–especially in difficult spiritual conversations.