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by Sean McDowell
SEAN: Dad, was apologetics as important when you began your ministry 50 years ago or so? Why or why not?
JOSH: Yes it was. Back when I began my ministry, almost no one was doing apologetics. I was like a lone voice crying in the wilderness. That’s one reason why Evidence that Demands a Verdict did so well. There was nothing else like it out there. Back then materialism was the issue that drove people away from the truth. There was an undercurrent of skepticism, and nobody was answering the tough questions. Whereas today, the issue is more intellectual, driven by the Internet, and related to the abundance of information that is tearing at the very fiber of truth. After about the first 10 years of using apologetics, I really became more relational in my approach, teaching truth in the context of relationships.
SEAN: what lessons have you learned the hard way in doing apologetics?
JOSH: When you make public presentations there are two down sides. One, you can overstate it. This can happen without even realizing it. Sometimes I have caught myself doing this and wish I could go back and change it. Second, you may leave things out of a presentation. I have made true statements in multiple church services. But as the services progress, I accidentally leave certain details out. By the third and fourth talks, I have to write, “Details, details, details” in my notes or I will forget something crucial. If you leave out details you can be totally misinterpreted. I’ve had to fight those two things my whole life.
SEAN: What are the two most common questions you get from people relating to apologetics?
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