The Church Today Needs an Apologetic Culture
By Anugrah Kumar
Pastors should develop an apologetic culture in their churches as the need for Christians to defend their faith has increased significantly, Canadian author and apologist Stephen J. Bedard said.
Asked what his advice to pastors was, Bedard said they should make their congregations aware that there are answers available; “it’s not a blind faith.” “We don’t have to prove that Christianity is absolutely true, but we have to demonstrate that it is something rational,” said Bedard, pastor of Woodford Baptist Church and First Baptist Church in Meaford in Ontario.
Bedard, who got interested in apologetics after reading Christian authors and thinkers C.S. Lewis and Norman L. Geisler, said churches also needed to articulate what the Gospel is. Only when they know what the real thing is will they be able to respond to the counterfeit, he said.
Talking about Hope’s Reason: A Journal of Apologetics he edits, Bedard said the need for apologetics had “increased significantly.” People today are exposed to all kinds of doctrines, from Gnostic gospels to theories like “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” thanks to the media, he explained.
Gnostic gospels are based on texts that are not part of the standard biblical canon. “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” is a documentary made by a Canadian filmmaker on the Talpiot Tomb near the Old City in East Jerusalem and it seeks to misinterpret the events regarding Jesus as recorded in the New Testament, Christians believe.
Those who want to get involved in apologetics – the discipline of defending a Christian position by the systematic use of reason – must spend time with atheists, non-Christians, and those who are skeptical of the Christian faith, Bedard advised. “Just listen to what they believe” and do not hesitate to acknowledge the good points they raise, but also go to the Scriptures to see where the Bible says they are wrong.
A father of five, Bedard said he learned a lot from his children. “They ask everything and do not take anything for granted. They challenge me all the time,” he said, adding that children and others should always be encouraged to ask questions…
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