Apologetics is devotional, worshipful, and radically sanctifying…
…if it’s done properly.
Most Christians find that statement surprising. Christians tend to respond to challenges to their faith by succumbing to one of two temptations. On the one hand, the gung-ho debaters among us seize on the opportunity to score a few points on the forces of unbelief, and there are some serious temptations that go with that. These folks, however, are only a tiny minority — and even they wouldn’t normally describe their experience as devotional and worshipful.
Then there’s everyone else — those who dread a serious challenge to their faith. These are the people who get past the local freethinkers’ society table at the county fair by walking fast and not making eye contact, who respond to Jehovah’s Witnesses at the door by pretending that nobody’s home, who retreat from serious discussion with a skeptical friend by saying “I don’t know how I know it’s true — I just know it in my heart!”
If you’re one of these people, then you know: defending the faith is too stressful, too argumentative, too intellectual — it’s just not edifying. At the same time, you also know that the Bible requires you to be ready to give an answer. So chances are you feel vaguely guilty when you dodge those situations, but you keep dodging anyway. I’m here to tell you, the concerns you struggle with are real, and they’re valid. Much of what is put forth as apologetics material today has all those problems.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. The reason we struggle so much with apologetics is mainly that we haven’t paid sufficient attention to what the Bible says about it. Usually, an apologetics seminar or Sunday school lesson starts out with a quick read of 1 Peter 3:15, and then the Bibles close and it’s off to the races with facts, figures, and philosophical arguments — and we ignore the instructions the Bible gives us for defending our faith. Because of this, we wind up subtly compromising the very faith we’re supposed to be defending, and whether we can put it in words or not, we know something is wrong.
No wonder we don’t like it.
Again: biblical apologetics is devotional, worshipful, and radically sanctifying. Biblical apologetics can use facts, figures and philosophical arguments, but underneath all those things is something else, something much, much more important: a biblical view of the conflict, and a biblical understanding of what God requires of us in it.
Those foundational issues will be the focus of a four-part online apologetics seminar beginning the week of October 27 and continuing through the week of November 17. Sessions are tentatively scheduled for 4 pm to 6 pm Pacific time, on four consecutive Mondays (Oct. 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17). Classes will be in a lecture and discussion format, with handouts provided via email ahead of time.
For further details, drop me an email through my contact form. If Mondays don’t work for you, a second section is a possibility, and we’re still discussing timing for it. Drop me a note and let me know what your schedule is like; I’ll do the best I can to accommodate you.
If you’re still afraid that this will be too intellectual, too difficult, too scary for you, you’re not alone. Several of the folks in the last group I took through this material felt the same way, before we started. I’d like you to hear what four of them had to say after it was over:
“These four weeks have had a great effect on me at the heart level. This is way more than a class on apologetics.”
“I feel I truly walked away with a new perspective and new tools to use.”
“Your apologetics class has offered me invaluable lessons in how to effectively defend my faith.”
“You have brought music to our ears and souls and spirits — and taught us how music can tell His story….This ‘intellectual’ topic became a heart issue. I have been convicted, and I am eager to discover the riches in Him.”