News Flash: Our discipline has a weird name.
Many years ago, my wife and I visited Citrus Heights for a family gathering. Someone heard I was in grad school and asked me, “What are you getting your degree in?”
“Apologetics,” I answered.
“I’m sorry,” she replied with a chuckle.
“It’s not really that bad,” I said, looking confused.
Today, people still ask, “Why does it sound like apologizing?” Here’s my point: Our discipline has a weird name. If we’re going to promote accessible apologetics, we’ve got to talk about it with this in mind.
That’s why the course I teach at Bridgeway Christian Church is called “Defending the Faith.” It’s less awkward. But even this can be confusing if it makes people think of hand-to-hand combat. As Greg Koukl observed:
Them sounds like fightin’ words!
Tomorrow, I’m going to share something I learned from William Lane Craig about addressing this issue during your teaching. Until then, here’s some text I wrote for promoting accessible apologetics at Bridgeway. Feel free to use it as a starting point for your ministry. Grab it, tweak it, and make it your own:
Want to study Apologetics? You won’t be sorry!
An “apologetic” is simply a defense. Peter actually commanded all believers to be ready with answers when people ask us about our faith. In 1 Peter 3:15, the word translated as “reason” is the word apologia, which means “a reasoned statement or argument.”
Obeying this command just means you’ve got reasons for what you believe and you’re ready to talk with anyone who’s got questions. It doesn’t mean getting defensive. It doesn’t mean getting into fights. It means speaking the truth in love as we represent our Lord at work, at school, in our community and society. But in order to be prepared, we’ve got to know what we believe and why we believe it.
That’s what this course in defending the faith is all about—increasing your confidence as a Christian by exploring the reasons and evidences for the faith, and preparing yourself to be a more effective ambassador of Jesus Christ.
What do you think? What are the challenges to promoting apologetics at your church, school, or other group?