Why Pastors Need Apologetics
by Jonathan Morrow
As Christian leaders and pastors, we need to take seriously our charge to watch over the souls of those in our spiritual care and to prepare them for what they will face from Monday morning through Saturday night (cf. Hebrews 13:17). If we don’t teach them, who will? C. S. Lewis famously remarked that “good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” We can no longer just relegate apologetics to the small group that 5 percent of the people in our churches will participate in. We need to creatively include it in our sermons where appropriate and in church life regularly.
Pastor Tim Keller, author of The Reason for God, shared the following regarding apologetics and his ministry: “Over the last twenty years my preaching and teaching has profited a great deal from doing the hard work of reading philosophy, especially the work of older Christian philosophers and scholars (Plantinga, Wolterstorff, Mavrodes, Alston) and the younger ones. Ministers need to be able to glean and put their arguments into easy to understand form, both in speaking
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and in evangelism.” Furthermore, “If pastors fail to do their homework in these areas [science, biblical criticism, philosophy], then there will remain a substantial portion of the population — unfortunately, the most intelligent and therefore most influential people in society, such as doctors, educators, journalists, lawyers, business executives, and so forth — who will remain untouched by their ministry.”
I am more convinced than ever that Christianity is actually true and that our faith is well placed. But we need to do the hard work to make these good reasons available in an accessible way to everyday Christians. This is especially true in the age of skepticism that we live in…
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