Why Isn’t the Church More Eagerly Embracing Apologetics? Here’s an Idea!
by Sean McDowell
Tom Gilson is a friend of mine. He is a blogger, writer, speaker, and church strategist. Like me, he cares deeply about the next generation. We are both convinced that apologetics training is vital for equipping this generation. Yet many churches resist. Why? To answer this question, we need YOUR help. Tom has a great idea to help figure out some of the core reasons. Please enjoy the interview, and if you are a youth worker or apologist, consider helping us out. Trust me, it will be both fun and interesting.
Sean McDowell: Why is it important to introduce apologetics in the church?
Tom Gilson: Church members need to know there are good reasons for belief. We’ve always been instructed to be equipped (1 Pet. 3:15), but the urgency is growing in these days as education, the media, and social media become more saturated with anti-Christian messages. Young people are leaving the faith because they’re not convinced it’s true, and even not convinced it’s good. But it isn’t just young people. We all need that confidence.
McDowell: Why hasn’t apologetics been well integrated into church ministry up until now, and what can be done about it?
Gilson: There’s a huge range of reactions to apologetics from church to church and pastor to pastor. Some welcome it, but some doubt it’s helpful, or even think it’s “argumentative.” One pastor told me he’d like to do more but he just doesn’t have time to study; which points straight at one crucial part of the problem: We expect too much of pastors. Or maybe they expect too much of themselves.
One way to help would be for churches to identify, equip and empower the members I call “lay apologists” — people who aren’t necessarily in church leadership, but care about apologetics and enjoy the study…