You Don't Need a Degree to be an Apologist (But You Do Need to be a Reader)

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Great comment David. I agree wholeheartedly, which is why I'm looking more and more to story and the arts as ways to connect. OUr culture is now much more narrative-oriented as opposed to propositionally-oriented. There is some stuff out there. Alister McGrath wrote on Imaginative Apologetics in his recent book, where he talks about marrying imagination and reason to persuade. Holly Ordway is also doing work in that area.

As a church we need more storytellers like Andrew Stanton, who tells a story about a father who swims the deepest oceans to rescue his son, and gets every family to take their kids to the movies to see it.

A model I have used is "Your story, my story, God's story", where you listen to their story, share your story, and connect them both to God's story.

I had a similar experience with Strobel's Case For Christ. One bit of advice for budding apologists: don't get your science from apologetics books. Get your science from science books, written by experts in whatever field you are studying. When I did this, I noticed that most claims made by apologists about what science tells us were quite wrong. For example, don't get your cosmology from William Lane Craig. While a smart man with knowledge about science, he is not a cosmologist, and it shows. Be intellectually honest at all times, and us non believers will actually begin to think about the arguments that are being made.

Great list! But where are the books we need to address today's most pressing issues, which have more to do with story and Story then with questions and Answers, and have more to do with relationship and Relationship than with more questions and more Answers. On yesterday ( I commented on why people are leaving Christianity by the millions. After 12 years of qualitative research, I presented the 9 reasons in "If God Disappears" (Tyndale House Publishers). Of course, that was only after listening to all the stories. Typically, any one individual's story includes a mixture of two or more reasons. Any given person doesn't wake up and think, "I have three reasons I'm walking away from God, the Church, and Christianity." Instead, they have a long story. Sadly, they're more brokenhearted than most pastors. I say that only because I am a pastor. My most important job in that role? Let people tell me their stories, without judgment, and then promise to walk with them as long as it takes...

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Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:15


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