What is Christian Apologetics? Pt 2
by Coralie Rose
Why is apologetics important?
Not only is apologetics important, it’s necessary. In my second year at university, I had an English prof I’ll never forget. On one particular day in this class we were discussing the historical context of a book we were reading, and suddenly he started harshly criticizing Christian missionaries. To that point in my young life I’d never heard an adult bash Christianity outright before. He had issues with religion in general, but he especially had it in for Christians. I was a deer in the headlights. Part of me was mad that he was harping so heavily, but what bothered me more was that I wasn’t sure if I should say anything, or if I should- what I would even say! Having grown up in a Christian home and lived in a Bible belt town for most of my life, my beliefs were fairly insulated. I’d been taught a lot about and from the Bible, and I trusted it, but never had anyone challenge it. Now I found myself in just such a position- with a university professor no less, someone who I naturally held in high intellectual distinction. Nothing prepared me to defend Christianity against that. I didn’t necessarily think that what he said was true, but I didn’t have a rebuttal either.
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Such is the experience that many North American young adult Christians are having once they leave high school and enter the world. The result so far has been this demographic leaving the church in droves. Many go to post-secondary institutions without knowing how to defend their beliefs. It’s one thing to have a peer challenge you on it, it’s another altogether to have a professor ridicule it. It can be confusing at best, disillusioning at worst, and for many it’s meant the end of those beliefs. The good news is that if they have doubts, they don’t need to check their intellect at the door when they go to church or sit down to read their Bibles. The bad news is that many don’t know that yet.
Still feeling apathetic? Maybe the university setting doesn’t apply to your situation. Let’s move to the marketplace then. If someone said to you, “Christians are always trying to force their views on everyone else”, would you know how to respond? What if someone asks you, “Don’t all religions lead to God?” How about a the statement, ”I don’t believe in God because it’s not rational. There’s no proof.” Or how about this tough question: ”Why would an all-loving, all-powerful God allow suffering in the world?” These are some serious questions, and they’re ones that get asked a lot…
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