Religious/Social Research

Research Report: What Motivates Interest In Apologetics?

Tom Gilson

Apologists have often asked how we can “get more apologetics in the Church.” Typically we’ve pursued the question as a matter of “give them the resources and they’ll find out they like it.” Even worse, we’ve treated it as if we could argue people into liking argument. In reality, though, it’s not an apologetics question, it’s a motivation issue.

Using a motivational/social science approach, drawing a sample from apologetics Facebook groups, Ratio Christi, and elsewhere, the current research explores motivations that have sparked interest in people who have an interest in apologetics. Findings show that the best predictors of that interest are 

  • An intellectual bent
  • Serious questions
  • Access to answers
  • In a relationally supportive environment

Church and prior biblical convictions had surprisingly little effect in motivating persons' interest in apologetics.

How Apologetics Can Address the Six Reasons Young People Leave Church

Tim Barnett

Isolationism. One-fourth of 18- to 29-year-olds say church demonizes everything outside church, including the music, movies, culture, and technology that define their generation.

Shallowness. One-third call church boring, about one-fourth say faith is irrelevant and Bible teaching is unclear. One-fifth say God is absent from their church experience.

Anti-science. Up to one-third say the church is out of step on scientific developments and debate.

Sex. The church is perceived as simplistic and judgmental. For a fifth or more, a “just say no” philosophy is insufficient in a techno-porno world. Young Christian singles are as sexually active as their non-churched friends, and many say they feel judged.

Exclusivity. Three in 10 young people feel the church is too exclusive in this pluralistic and multi-cultural age. And the same number feel forced to choose between their faith and their friends.

Doubters. The church is not a safe place to express doubts say over one-third of young people, and one-fourth have serious doubts they’d like to discuss.

Why Young Ex-Christians are Ex-Christians, According to the Latest Research

J. Warner Wallace

Pew Reseae b polled "nones," Pell,e who d I nt identify with any religious tradition, who answered they questioned a lot of religious teaching or disliked Cheistians' social and political positions. But this 2018 poll didn't allow them to answer in their own words, as Pew had in a 2016 survey, in which the predominant answer was that people didn't think Christian ity was true. This shows we need to strategize to teach the truth of the faith.