What Defensive Tactics Training Can Teach Us About Defending Christianity

by J Warner Wallace

Police officers train obsessively. Our state certification organization requires us to stay up to date and tests us consistently to see if we are still competent in a number of areas. From firearms qualification to driver’s training to legal updates, each officer is required to spend hundreds of hours learning and practicing necessary skills over the course of a career. Along the way, we spend many hours engaged in “defensive tactics” training. Beyond our academy preparation, officers must continue to learn how to fight, wrestle, and defend themselves. Sometimes I wish Christian case makers (apologists) were also required to train regularly in defensive tactics; there are a number of important things each of us could learn from the experience:

In a Pinch, Your Training Pays Off
In every on-duty tussle I ever encountered, I found myself reacting in a way that was consistent with my training. When the fight is on, you really don’t have time to think through every move. Instead, you find yourself resorting to the habits you’ve developed in training. In times of crisis, you

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respond as you’ve trained. If you haven’t been training, your response will most certainly be slower and less effective. This is true for physical altercations and it’s also true for challenging spiritual conversations. The key to training is repetition that engrains a movement in your memory so you don’t have to think about it in a moment of crisis. If you consider yourself to be a Christian case maker, how have you been practicing? How have you been repeating your defense consistently to make sure you are ready when the time comes? I find that blogging is an excellent way to practice for the “real life” conversations I have with my friends and family. In addition, there are quiet times of solitude (usually while I’m running) when I find myself thinking carefully and mentally rehearsing my responses to common objections. I practice because I know that training pays off…

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What Defensive Tactics Training Can Teach Us About Defending Christianity



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