How to Be a “One Dollar Apologist” (What I Learned This Year at CIA)
by J Warner Wallace
I returned yesterday from Frank Turek’s CrossExamined Instructor’s Academy (CIA) in North Carolina. CIA is an intense three-day program that teaches students how to present I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, a four part apologetics presentation based on Frank’s iconic book of the same title. Students spend three days on the campus of Southern Evangelical Seminary learning how to present the case for truth, God, miracles and the New Testament. They make their own presentations as well and learn how to answer questions about these topics in a hostile environment. I participated as an instructor this year, along with Frank, Ted Wright, Greg Koukl, Richard Howe, Brett Kunkle and Larry Blythe. It was a powerful (and busy) three days, and I highly commend the experience to anyone who is serving the Christian community as a Case Maker and wants to become better at their craft.
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I often try to remind people: The impact of a single “million dollar apologist” will not change our culture as powerfully as the impact of a million “one dollar apologists”. Many of you have resonated with that idea (and the resulting term) and some of you have even taken me up on the proposal. This year, my experience at CIA provided a number of insights on how all of us can become better “one dollar apologists”:
You Don’t Need to Be a “Vocational Apologist” to Have a Powerful Impact
CIA was filled with students from nearly every walk of life. We did have a few pastors, but most of the students were employed in non-Christian environments. We had teachers, engineers, moms, veterinarians, business men, and laborers. I felt right at home. I’ve never been a vocational apologist, and I continue to derive my income from my career as a detective. Last year, as a full-time detective navigating two cases through the criminal justice system, I finished writing Cold Case Christianity, illustrated the book and started a daily blog. You’d be amazed at the impact you can have, even without leading a non-profit ministry, working at a church or becoming a well-known public figure. God uses each of us on the basis of our individual life experiences. There are people out there who need to hear your voice. You can reach them better than anyone else, including the people you think of as “million dollar apologists”…
RECOMMENDED APOLOGETICS RESOURCES FOR FURTHER READING:
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