5 Reasons You Should Get Apologetics Training
by Sean McDowell
The purpose and nature of apologetics is often misunderstood. Some people think it’s about arguing for the faith. Others think it’s about apologizing. In reality, apologetics simply refers to the defense of what you believe to be true.
But isn’t apologetics someone else’s job? Isn’t it reserved for pastors, Bible teachers, and other “intellectual” Christians? The answer is an unequivocal no. As C.S. Lewis said, the question is not if we are apologists, but whether we will be effective apologists. All of us are called to have an answer for our hope in Jesus Christ (e.g. 1 Peter 3:15).
While some people are able to learn apologetics on their own, most of us (myself included) need formal training. Here are five reasons why you should consider apologetics training in 2017:
1. Apologetics Will Help You Serve the Church.As my friend Tom Gilson wrote in his article for A New Kind of Apologist,one key feature of apologetics is to be a servant for the church. There is a huge need for some Christians in the church to have formal training on how to best answer some of the toughest questions about God, the Bible, evil and more. I often encourage my Biola M.A. students to offer to serve their pastor by doing research for sermons, being available to counsel young people with difficult questions, and being willing to offer apologetics classes for people in the church. The first reason to get formal apologetics training is to better serve the local church. Just as every church needs a teaching pastor, worship leader, and children’s director, every church needs a trained apologist.
2. Apologetics Training Will Help Build Your Confidence. Our churches are filled with people who know truth. But there is a world of difference between knowing truth and knowing that you know truth. Confidence and conviction come not from having truth, but knowing that you have truth. I have seen my own high school students—when they get formal apologetics training and learn that their beliefs are reasonable—stand out boldly for their faith. In my experience, when people are trained in apologetics, they become much more likely to live out the truth of the Gospel because they have a newfound confidence it is actually true.
3. Apologetics Training Can Be Fun. Some of you might think this point is crazy, but I have found it to be true. I do realize that apologetics training is not always fun. We have all sat through boring lectures that don’t connect to our hearts (In all honesty, I’ve delivered a few of those myself). But in my experience, apologetics training can be invigorating…
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