Ministry Strategy

Apologetics As Conversation

By
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.

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

By
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.

5 Reasons Christians Should Study Apologetics

By
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.

As Religious Separation Increases, Religious Bigotry Will Abound

By
David French

"The United States is transitioning into large-scale secular and sacred enclaves. Thus, secular elites who express scorn or disdain for orthodox Christian religious faith and practice aren’t disconnected from popular will. They’re expressing popular will."

religions freedom, religious liberty, politics, anti-Christian hostility, 

 

"Reversing the cultural decline of Christianity would do more to preserve religious freedom than any conceivable Supreme Court case."

Research Report: What Motivates Interest In Apologetics?

By
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.

Apologetics in the Local Church

By
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. "