Christian Apologetics: The Evangelistic Wave of the Future?
By Dr. Richard Land
On July 1, I assumed the presidency of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES) in Charlotte, N.C.
Some have asked me whether I was retiring from the culture wars when I retired after 25 years of service to the Southern Baptists Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. My answer was, and is, an emphatic “NO!”
In becoming president of a seminary that specializes and focuses on apologetics, I am just moving from front-line combat to a training command, helping to prepare the next generation of green berets and paratroopers for the Lord’s army. I fervently believe apologetics is the way we will spell Christian evangelism, missions, and discipleship in the 21st century.
Dr. Elmer Towns, Dean Emeritus of Liberty Baptist Seminary, recently sent me an email that stated, “The next great trend in the evangelical church is ‘apologetic evangelism’, those who can go and give a defense of the faith while they present the Gospel. That means you are on the cutting edge of the next trend in Christianity.”
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So what is apologetics? SES’s cofounder, the incomparable Norm Geisler, has defined apologetics as “simply to defend the faith, and thereby destroy arguments and every proud obstacle against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5). It is opening the door, clearing the rubble, and getting rid of the hurdles so that people can come to Christ.”
William Lane Craig, one of America’s foremost apologists, defined apologetics as “that branch of Christian theology that seeks to provide rational warrant for Christianity’s truth claims. It contains offensive and defensive elements, on the one hand presenting positive arguments for Christian truth claims and on the other refuting objections brought again Christianity’s truth claims.”
Simply put, apologetics means loving people enough to give them reasonable and compelling answers to their honest questions…