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by J Warner Wallace
If you scan the pages of Scripture looking for a list of “offices” (leadership positions within the Church), you’re likely to find eight roles described in the New Testament: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers (Ephesians 4:11), elders, deacons and bishops (1 Timothy 3:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:8-13; Titus 1:5-9). One thing you’ll never find in any biblical list of leadership positions is the office of “apologist”.
Why is this position missing from the Scriptural lists? Wouldn’t it be wise for every church to have a trained and qualified Christian Case Maker? I can tell you from personal experience: as I travel around the country, very few church leaders seem to be interested in apologetics, and even fewer have studied in this area. In fact, many seminaries don’t even offer courses in apologetics as part of their Master of Divinity programs. But here are two reasons why I believe pastors need to be apologists.
1) Apologetics makes you a better evangelist.
The reason the role of apologist is missing from New Testament leadership lists is not because it isn’t important enough to be represented as a separate office within the Church. Just the opposite is true. The responsibility of apologist is assigned to all of us as Christians. God intends each and every one of us to be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks [us] to give an account for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Peter 3:15). Our personal responsibility to make a Case for Christianity is not separated into an office for the same reason our personal responsibility to pray is not separated into an official office within the church. There are no official church pray-ers for the same reason there are no official church case makers; this responsibility is given to all of us as Christians. It’s foundational to our identity…
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