Mission and Outreach

Apologetics As Conversation

Mikel del Rosario

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.

Ready to Move with the Gospel of Peace

John Piper

So let's think for a few minutes about this readiness as part of the whole armor of God. Verses 11–12 say, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Spiritual battle, war, conflict, gospel, evangelism

Evangelizing a Post-Christian West: When Being Welcoming Isn’t Enough

Dustin Messer

There was a time in which winsomeness really did carry the weight many think it will today. … In that context, all the church had to do was remove an obstacle for one to come in the doors: the incentive was built-in.  … Today, non-believers don’t just need to feel welcomed, they need to understand what they’re being invited into and why it’s worthwhile. There is good news: the Christian faith is inherently deep, it really does provide a credible, serious explanation for reality. Before it gave us lime green shirts that ripped off the Sprite logo to say “Spirit,” it gave us the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Spiritual Leaders Agree: The Church Isn’t Ready for What We’re Facing Today

Tom Gilson
I’ve sat down with half a dozen pastoral leaders lately, asking them about churches’ readiness to face the new challenges in our fast-changing culture. These were all regional leaders, not all in the same denomination, but representing several hundred churches through the pastors they in turn lead. Every one of them shook his head soberly and said, “We’re not ready.” And what’s true for their churches is also undoubtedly true for Christians across America.

5 Reasons Christians Should Study Apologetics

David Wilber

The reason most believers neglect apologetics, however, is not that they believe it to be unprofitable. They neglect it simply because it isn’t emphasized in their congregations for one reason or another. Learning why faith in God is reasonable and why we can trust the Bible as reliable isn’t given a place within discipleship. As a result, the body of Messiah suffers and is less effective in fulfilling our mission as image bearers for God.

Apologetics in the Local Church

Doug Groothuis

"Too many churches, however, do not make apologetics part of their teaching, preaching or outreach. Some even ridicule it as hostile to faith. ... the church’s educational ministry should not neglect apologetics at any level—from children to adults. ... churches can sponsor apologetic outreach events in which gifted speakers take on hot topics in apologetics. "