Are You One of ‘The Thirty Dozen’?

I’m Greg West, founder and chief editor of The Poached Egg. We have an urgent need and I would like to explain why.

The birth of The Poached Egg began with a story that may sound familiar to you:

I was raised in a Christian home by wonderful committed Christian parents. We attended church three times a week and sometimes more. We even attended church while on vacation! My childhood was filled with Bible stories and family prayer and devotions. I remember sitting in sermon during Vacation Bible School (VBS) at a very young age (perhaps five or six) when I realized that I was a sinner and went forward during the invitation and prayed to receive Christ as my Savior. I went to church camp and VBS every summer; was heavily involved in my youth group. At age 16, I preached my first sermon in front of a congregation and was making plans to attend Bible College and Seminary.

My plans took a detour when at age twenty I entered the US Army and proudly served for four years with most of that time in Special Ops and thirteen months overseas. After my discharge from the service and before I turned twenty-five I was done with church, done with Christianity (and religion in general), and proclaimed myself agnostic.

These changes in my beliefs and behavior did not happen overnight, but they occurred nonetheless. Why? The short version is that once I entered the army I was, for the first time in my life, removed from the Christian ‘ghetto’ in which I was raised. I was exposed to the real world of conflicting religions and worldviews. Also, the world seemed to offer much that I wanted that was in conflict with living a consistent Christian lifestyle. Many of the Christian leaders that I had respected while growing up weren’t measuring up, so why should I bother myself?

For many years I was a happy-apathetic-agnostic whose only concern was fulfilling whatever desire I wanted that was within my ability to do so. There was just one problem-  I loved to watched the news and praised my own desire to stay informed on the goings on in the world. However, I began to realize that the world was a complete mess. Evil and greed seemed rampant and there didn’t seem to be an end in sight. I came to the conclusion that there was something seriously wrong with the human race, and that included myself, as I realized that even I didn’t measure up to my own relatively low moral standards.

I began to become less of an apathetic agnostic and became open to spiritual questions and and began seeking answers. What I know now that I didn’t know then is that God, through his Holy Spirit, was using what is called ‘apologetics’ to draw me back to Christ. I searched earnestly for answers to my questions and began to seriously consider and compare the truth claims of different religions and worldviews. I eventually came to the conclusion that only the truth claims of Christianity held up to scrutiny and best reflected what I knew about reality— and because I considered myself to be on the side of truth (John 18:37), I recommitted my life to following Christ (praise God!).

Not long after, I was browsing in a Christian bookstore and ran across a book with a title that caught my attention: The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel, a former atheist and an award-winning investigative reporter. This book was in the genre of what I now know as ‘Christian Apologetics’, and I began to devour everything I could find on the topic. My personal studies in apologetics culminated in the idea for The Poached Egg (TPE), an internet resource to help Christians know how to always be ready to give an answer for the hope within them (1st Peter 3:15) and to know ‘why’ they believe ‘what’ they believe, which helps us grow as disciples and become more effective evangelists.. TPE  points visitors to a plethora of valuable resources that might otherwise be difficult to find.

Since launching in June of 2010, TPE has received over 6 Million page views, gained over 45,000 followers on social media, and has been visited from nearly every country in the world, including countries where Christianity is restricted or banned altogether. Over the years I’ve received many e-mails and comments from believers who have shared with me how TPE helped them through times of doubt or with specific questions or struggles they were dealing with. I hear from Christian school teachers, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, and small group leaders who use TPE as a teaching aid in their classes or group. I even  hear from pastors who have sought help in integrating apologetics training into their church to help disciple their congregation. I’m thankful that God has enabled me to provide this resource for so many people, but now I need your help.

TPE began as a part-time ministry which became a full-time ministry in 2014 and my full-time job since. Last year around this time, with the help of my partners and parent ministry, Engage 360, we were able to raise enough funds to keep TPE going full-time for several months during a vital transitional period. The huge majority of those funds raised were one-time donations for which we are very thankful, but right now are greatest need is ongoing monthly financial support as a foundation to keep this ministry going (although, of course, one-time gifts are always welcome). We are at currently just over 25% of what we need in monthly support, and what we need isn’t much, but it will take people like you to answer the call and stand in the gap. If just a few hundred people, or , ‘Thirty Dozen’, were to become $10 monthly supporters, our minimum budget will be met. I ask that you will prayerfully consider becoming one of those ‘Thirty Dozen’ and also pray for God’s provision in the coming weeks and months ahead and that you will share this campaign and give as you are able:

(or to make a special one-time gift)

Below is a sampling of comments I’ve received from TPE readers:

  • I was at a crisis point in my faith–did I really believe what I said I did? Why? When I couldn’t answer those questions I was terrified. In my desperation I began to search for answers, and I came across The Poached Egg. I was relieved to find a whole DISCIPLINE of Christian ministry that welcomed The Big Questions…and set about to answering them not just from the Bible, but from logic and extra-biblical evidence.

  • Not only has apologetics bolstered my faith, but I believe it has helped me to “put a stone in the shoe” of several family members who are not believers. (the quote was from Greg Koukl). I learned what apologetics is and started studying in just as we were beginning to launch our kids off to college- so the timing couldn’t have been any better. I love getting texts from my daughter when she is asked a hard question by a friend – like how can you trust the Bible when it has been handed down so many times, just like the game of telephone. What I love most is that I am now able to point her to the answer and that there ARE answers. I love your site! Thanks for helping me find relevant articles that I would no doubt miss if I was just browsing the Internet. I love that they just pop up in my newsfeed.

  • I believe apologetics is necessary for believers and for unbelievers. This is because through it, we believers are given a foundation for what we believe. More importantly, believers and unbelievers should realize that the strength of good apologetic arguments verify the fact that there is a God and that He is the God of the Bible. This is critical for establishing a Christian worldview that affects every aspect of life. If the God of the universe is the God of the Bible, this affects the way we see science, the arts, literature, gender, economics, and matters of morality, to name a few things. In other words, Jesus is Lord of morality and Lord of the molecules. The world we live in, then, is shaped by His lordship, and we are able to readily defend this.I thoroughly enjoy this site; keep the good posts coming!

  • If I am to “go on to perfection” (Hebrews 6:1), I need to wean myself off of “milk” (Hebrews 5:13), and start chewing on some hearty, “solid food,” so I can exercise my senses “to discern both good an evil” (Hebrews 5:14); and mature in understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20) towards the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 2:5-7). The Poached Egg provides a menu of things that will cause “babes in the faith” to put some hair on their chest. Although I am determined not to know anything “except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2)–for knowledge only “puffs up” (1 Corinthians 8:1)–maybe, just maybe, by studying apologetics, I may also be made “ready to give a defense” to anyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in me (1 Peter 3:15).

  • Apologetics is necessary in today’s culture of secularism, scientism, and skepticism to help young Christians maintain their faith, grow stronger in their knowledge of what they believe and why they believe it and then reach others with the truth of the good news. I work with students at both the high school and college level and find so many young people who are eager to hear good evidence for their faith.

  • I am a pastor, and I have found apologetics to be biblical, helpful to my own faith, helpful in evangelism, and equipping the members of my church. The study of apologetics also sharpens my mind and shapes my Christian worldview. I like The Poached Egg because of the interesting posts I can see in my Facebook news feed, as well as links to books I may not have heard of. Sometimes I have more time to read these posts than others, but I appreciate being able to see them every day.

  • As I’ve recently become more interested in learning about apologetics and backing my faith, the Poached Egg has been an incredibly useful resource in learning more about what I believe. As Christians, we are called to be wise as serpents and yet innocent as doves – we are sent out amongst wolves! We need to know why what we believe is accurate, and know how to present it concisely and clearly. Apologetics is the answer to many of the roadblocks Christians hit when it comes to “practical proof” for the faith, but it is not a widely taught discipline yet, and I hope that soon it will make more of a comeback within the Church!Apologetics are so important today. People – especially young people, want solid answers and they need to be equipped to defend their faith – we all do. Apologetics enable us to answer those questions that come up and share the Gospel more effectively. The Poached Egg is such a great resource.

  • I find the study of apologetics to be fascinating in just about every way. I have been a believer for a long time, but always had a lot of questions too. When I met my husband (who has since passed on) and he had a lot of questions I couldn’t answer, and I felt totally inadequate in defending my faith. I became very interested in any kind of apologetics study I could find. I know that faith is faith for a reason and there is only so much that God has revealed, but at the same time there is so much evidence out there to be examined and considered and marveled at… and I think often times it is this kind of evidence that may cause those not in the faith to consider… maybe there is something to all of this after all. TPE has been a great melting pot so to speak of this kind of information and I am thankful for it.

  • It was as a seeking, skeptical high school student that I encountered the field of apologetics. I know first hand the powerful effectiveness of the discipline both from my own conversion and from the discussions I’ve had with many friends. I’m so glad to find organizations like TPE that are willing to help turn back the tide of Christian anti-intellectualism and help seekers find the answers to questions the Church all too frequently brushes off.

  • I have been very thankful for TPE as I’ve just become aware of the evidences for the faith I have had for many years. With study I’ve become bolder in sharing my faith, and now I am concerned for the faith of my children and the children in our local churches and want to do more to help them build they’re confidence.

  • As I teach my youth, there is usually not a week that goes by that some sort of apologetic defense doesn’t arise. They live in a culture of skepticism and one that is hostile towards Christianity. Apologetics and philosophy has been used by God in my life to deepen the wellsprings of trust and devotion to Jesus who is the truth. This also goes for my youth. The day that I realized that Christianity was not just a “truth” but THE truth was one of the most life-changing moments in my walk with the Lord. It contributed to my desire for Christian ministry and to serve the world around me. Apologetics is necessary because we cannot be ostriches with our heads in the sand. The world has objections and questions. We have Christ who lovingly points us to what’s real, right, and true.

  • Several years ago, my intellectual and emotional doubts were moving me away from believing the Christianity is true. God brought several apologists into my life who helped me answer my questions. Today I am more convinced of the truths of God’s existence and Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection than ever in my life. The Poached Egg has introduced me to many others who share a similar testimony and who use their experience to further the Kingdom.

  • Apologetics has shown me the intellectual side of Christianity and rescued my faith from a solely “experiential” brand of religion that did not fulfill or satisfy. I praise God for older brothers in the faith that labor to illuminate younger brothers’ minds to the wonder of Christ. Apologetics as a pursuit has been wholly beneficial to me and those close to me.

  • I have been quite impressed with the articles and blog posts that have come my way via TPE. I’m not the sort of person that likes to post pictures of puppies and kittens on Facebook but your links are ones that get one’s attention in a way that gets reactions from people that otherwise I would never talk to on such deep levels.

  • [The Poached Egg] was a Godsend years ago and to attempt to express how and why would fail to convey the love of Christ I felt with this website. It was the life raft Christ gave when nothing else was there to help. Thanks and many blessings!!!

  • As an apathetic agnostic, internet apologists showed me the error in my thinking and ultimately pointed me to the truth. Ironically enough, I actually began defending Christianity before accepting it as truth in my own relationship with God. Apologetics was vital to my conversion. Absolutely vital.

  • I have just recently in the last year or two become interested in Apologetics. I think it is extremely important not only as a witnessing and evangelism tool but also a way of reinforcing one’s own faith and always being prepared to give a defense for not just “what” one believes but “why” also. If we cannot even say why we chose to follow Yahweh why would anyone take us or our faith seriously?

  • Apologetics changed my life in a very very large way. As a college student studying biology I am constantly surrounded by the naturalistic mindset. I can remember the first time I read about the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus and put the “the gospels are pure children’s stories” myth to bed. Works of people like William Lane Craig and all the awesome articles I get from TPE on Twitter have been so crucial to becoming a real heartfelt Christian instead of just a “church sitter” as some would say. When you accept that Christianity is really true and you REALLY know it and feel it in your heart your whole life becomes absolutely changed. I will hold my Christian values in front of anyone and I will forever be able to “give a reason for the hope that is in me”. God bless ministries like this as we continue to share our faith with the world! KEEP IT UP!

  • I think apologetics, especially in this postmodern, post-Christian Western society many of us find ourselves in, is a very needed tool in regards not simply to just evangelism, but also to discipleship. We want simply to not only show skeptics why Christianity is in fact a very reasonable faith, but also to equip fellow believers with rational reasons and evidences for the Christian faith.

  • After 20 years of having evolution shoved down my throat in schools and the media, creation based apologetics made the Bible real for me in new ways I’d never known before. Big thanks to TPE for reminding me that science isn’t the problem, but bad science.
    (or to make a special one-time gift)