Questions are a Good Thing
by Luke McKinnon
That is a pretty strong statement for a pastor to make about any ministry or program his church has implemented, but I made the statement and I wholeheartedly stand by it. By creating an “atmosphere of apologetics,” we have challenged people within the church to dig deep into their faith and to question if what they believe is really true or not. One of the mottos that has become a mainstay in our church is “Questions are a good thing.” What we have found is there are many people that feel churches and/or pastors really do not like people to question the things they are teaching. We have created a culture in which people are comfortable knowing that questions can be asked and our faith will stand firm against any question.
Several years ago, I began to prepare myself for making apologetics a key part of our church by earning my Masters of Arts in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. While this is certainly not a requirement for starting an apologetics program in your church, it didn’t hurt. One thing I would suggest is to become familiar with a broad range of apologetical topics. Notice that I said familiar and not proficient. It is impossible to be proficient in every apologetical area, but when studying apologetics, one topic invariably leads to other areas of study. This brings me to what may be one of the most important rules I have learned in my experience of teaching apologetics.
Be prepared to tell people that you do not know the answer, if you truly do not know the answer. This may sound a bit elementary; however, I have come across some people that might make-up an answer rather than admit that they do not know. The way that I have handled this situation is by simply stating that I do not know the answer, but I would like to dig into the matter more to find an answer.
I began by offering a weekly Bible study for our folks that focused on different apologetical issues. These topics varied greatly, as the apologetics field does, but there was a hunger in our people for this sort of Bible study that really surprised me. People want to know that there are reasons and arguments to support their beliefs. This study lasted for about six months and covered everything from Creation/Intelligent Design and Biblical Archaeology to Philosophy of Religion and Arguments for the Existence of God…
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