The Missing Link: The Case for Pre-Apologetics
by Mia Langford
We need to put a new area of apologetics on the map, folks. Let’s dub this sub-genre focusing on the apologetic for apologetics “pre-apologetics.” Pre-apologetics focuses on why we must learn to give a defense of our faith or why one should care about truth, and it’s underutilized and underexplored in contemporary apologetics – to our detriment.
Throughout my childhood my mom repeatedly admonished, “people don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” Well, apologists are pretty aware that, in general, the church doesn’t care as much about apologetics as it should.
And we’re correct that it should. Hearing the statistics on the youth exodus from the church, we know the situation is becoming dire. We look at the emerging trend of “street epistemology,” and we find average Christians are falling away upon exposure to what amounts to second-rate worldview pick-up artistry. The church at large must embrace apologetics. This isn’t something we can afford to get wrong.
Meanwhile, we find ourselves in a culture increasingly numb to the need for answers. Many unbelievers assume the search for truth has become irrelevant, unattractive, or uncompelling, leaving us in a position where we must first cultivate an interest in such a search in order to pass “Go.”
This is where pre-apologetics becomes critical. For those unfamiliar with or even uninterested in apologetics, pre-apologetics acts as a bridge between apologetics and other concerns, ideas, or areas of study. It opens up an exciting world, earnestly exploring the relationship of apologetics to everything else around us. It cultivates interest and catalyzes personal motivation by drawing explicit connections people may have missed. It focuses more why than on what. Aside from modifying the language we use — the subject of another post — let’s look at two other ways we can approach this genre within apologetics more effectively…
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