Women Apologists: Blazing Trails and Building Bridges
by Melissa Cain Travis
Only a decade or so ago, women apologists were an extreme rarity. If you encountered someone who even knew what the word “apologetics” meant, they would very likely only be able to name a few of the more popular male apologists such as Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell. Even ministry leaders trained in the discipline probably wouldn’t have been able to readily name a woman in the field. This state of affairs is changing rapidly and dramatically, as God is raising up competent women in the field just in time for what Strobel calls “the cusp of a Golden Era in Christian apologetics.” Women apologists may still be odd ducks, but we aren’t quite as odd as we used to be.
This is a tremendously important development. First and foremost, women apologists are in a unique position to encourage other women to embrace a more intellectual faith, to love God with their minds. Many women would be too intimidated by, or perhaps simply disinterested in apologetics, seeing it as an area reserved “for the boys,” much as the field of theology was viewed up until recent years. But seeing a sister in Christ directly engaged in
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apologetics education and ministry opens the minds of such women to the possibilities and value. Second, in addition to deepening their faith and adding a wonderful new dimension to their worship, the study of apologetics equips mothers to raise children with confident faith and the ability to give reasons for the hope that they have (I Peter 3:15). This should be high on the priority list for every Christian working to train up their sons and daughters in this increasingly pluralistic, relativistic society.
I am honored to serve on the faculty at Houston Baptist University, home to some of today’s leading apologists, including several who are women. Mary Jo Sharp, Nancy Pearcey, and Dr. Holly Ordway continue to blaze trails in their areas of specialty. It is wonderful to see the fruits of their scholarship and ministries, how they have sparked new fires in the hearts of believers, including women who otherwise may have never gained an interest in apologetics.
I’d like to introduce you to several more women apologists working diligently and effectively in their respective areas of expertise. I am blessed to be personally acquainted with these gifted apologists! This list is by no means exhaustive, it is simply a sampling of our growing demographic…