Overcoming Objections to an Apologetics Ministry
by Lenny Esposito
It’s no secret that most churches don’t offer any kind of apologetics as part of the ministries available to their congregations. There can be many reasons for this, from a perception by either church leadership or the laity that apologetics is too tough, no one is qualified to lead such a ministry, there would be no interest, there isn’t enough time, or simply a general lack of knowledge concerning what apologetics really is. Each of these problems can be overcome without a whole lot of difficulty. Let’s take each in turn, beginning with the last.
1. No one knows what apologetics is
This is probably the biggest problem in the Christian church. People either don’t recognize the word apologetics or misunderstand what the study of apologetics entails. The word apologetics is itself foreign, not used much beyond those interested in it. But this is also the easiest problem to fix.
The word apologetics comes from the command in 1 Peter 3:15 to “always be prepared to make a defense (the Greek word apologia) for the hope that is within you.” This is a defense like a trial lawyer would put on for his client, using reason and evidence to prove innocence. You can explain apologetics in more detail, but it is perfectly fine to talk about the need today for Christians to be able to defend their faith with reasons and evidence. After all, Christianity has always been a faith based on the evidence of Jesus’s resurrection.
It’s becoming more and more evidence that being able to defend one’s Christian beliefs in a non-threatening and reasonable fashion is important. So, let’s speak about being good and thoughtful defenders.
2. Apologetics is too tough
As I said above, apologetics doesn’t have to be considered tough. This goes back to misunderstanding just what apologetics is. Apologetics isn’t about formal debates or arcane facts that no one would know. It’s about giving good reasons for why you believe what you believe. Some of these can be as simple as looking at a movie like Forrest Gump and comparing it to the resurrection accounts. Or, just teaching people the common-sense idea that you can’t get a something (like the universe) from a nothing. As I’ve written before, you’re smarter than you think you are, and everyone can easily grasp the basics of apologetics…
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