Five Reasons Students Must Be Trained in Apologetics
by Sean McDowell
For the past two decades, I have been speaking, teaching, and writing to students about the importance of defending their beliefs. While students certainly respond differently to apologetics, I have personally seen many students transformed by knowing why they believe as they do. Nevertheless, some people still ask, “Why bother?”
Below are five quick points about why teaching apologetics to students is so critical today:
1. Apologetics gives students confidence. Many students claim to believe in Jesus, but only a minority of these students can articulate good reasons for why their beliefs are true. Yet when students learn good evidences for the Bible, solid reasons for the existence of God, and how to respond to tough challenges to the faith, they gain confidence in their beliefs. I have seen the faith of many of my own students grow considerably when they are properly trained in apologetics.
2. Apologetics helps students hold on to their faith. There are many different kinds of reasons students disengage the church (moral, volitional, existential, relational, etc.). For instance, in a study of college-age skeptics, many cited an emotional experience as pivotal in driving them away from the faith. And yet studies also show that young people have genuine intellectual questions. And when they are not answered, many leave the church. In You Lost Me, David Kinnaman cites six reasons young people often disengage the church. Almost all of them have an apologetics-related angle. Personally, I regularly hear stories about how my father’s books (and occasionally my own) helped people hold on to their faith when they were younger…
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