5 really bad reasons Christians avoid apologetics
by David Robertson
“You can’t argue people into the Kingdom”
Congratulations. You passed the first hurdle. Having seen the word ‘apologetics’ in the title, you still managed to read this far! To put it mildly, apologetics has a bad image. Indeed, such a bad image that at Solas we prefer to use the term ‘persuasive evangelism’ because apologetics either carries the notion of saying sorry for being a Christian, or of some male geeky nerd pontificating on the teleological argument. Like all caricatures there is some element of truth in this, but it is overall grossly unfair. It’s time to rescue apologetics from this particular cul-de-sac and instead realise the usefulness of the apologia (defence) of the Gospel, in proclaiming the Good News in today’s needy world. So lets look at some of the objections that stop Christians even considering apologetics in the first place.
1. Apologetics is just for nerdy geeks. There is an image problem. It appears as though unless one has a PhD from a top university, apologetics is best left alone. It is for the brain boxes, the people who like to think academically and who enjoy nothing more than to sit down with a glass of wine and a couple of books on Descartes and Derrida. While you have nothing against those who are so inclined (and gifted), you like to be more practical/spiritual/prayerful. But this is to create a false dichotomy. All of us are made in the image of God, and all of us therefore are Logos – we have minds and we are expected to use them. None of us are expected to believe without some evidence. God addresses the heart through the mind, not vice versa.
My simple way of putting this is: if you cannot answer the questions of a 12-year-old, you won’t be able to answer anyone’s questions; but if you can, then you can answer anyone’s! The hardest questions I have ever been asked haven’t come from journalists at The Times or the keyboard warriors of the New Fundamentalist Atheists, but rather from the young thinking teenager whose questions are for real. Not to think about them is to disrespect and despise them. Apologetics is for all…
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