The Place of Apologetics

by Reid S. Monaghan

I was recently listening to the Acts 29/Gospel Coalition podcast, Churches Planting Churches, where my brother Matt Chandler was sharing about his new book Take Heart, Christian Courage in the Age of Unbelief. You can listen to the episode here. What struck me was their conversation related to hospitality and its importance to engaging people with the gospel in our day. I could not agree more.

Throughout my evangelistic work on college campuses, planting churches, and helping Christians think through a thoughtfully engaged witness, I have been shocked by how little time followers of Jesus spend with non-Christians. Chandlers recommendation, along with others like Tim Chester’s A Meal with Jesus, is to open our home and dinner tables to be with those who need the gospel. Again, just a hearty amen for hearty meals with Jesus and non-Christian friends. I would even say we need to not simply invite folks to our homes but spend time other’s spaces as well.

Matt also commented on something that led me to ask a specific question. He made a mentioned in passing that presuppostional apologetics is perhaps a less useful methodology today for reaching out to others when compared to the practice of hospitality. I have no bone to pick with this, nor do I desire to discuss apologetic methodology in this post (I explain those here), but I did ask the question: What is the place of apologetics in the life of the church?

I am currently wrapping up an almost two-decade Master of Divinity degree in Applied Apologetics. I have engaged my course work here and there over many years while staying engaged in a full time ministry that seeks to engage lost people with the gospel. I think quite a bit about what myself and others might need to be effective witnesses in our current cultural milieu. What I have found fascinating is that the way that Apologetics can be practiced and the way it is taught academically are many times very different. Let me explain…

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The Place of Apologetics