If someone were to ask you, what is apologetics, and in particular, Christian apologetics, would you know how to answer them? Would you first think of it as being explaining why you’re sorry and have to apologize for something? Or is it something else?
Why is apologetics important?
Many pastors might think that apologetics is not for everyone. The word alone is hard. They might believe that apologetics is simply for academics and that people in the pew either wouldn’t care, or have no need for such things. I believe that people in the pew cannot do without apologetics and that every pastor should teach his congregation apologetics because of these two benefits.
First, studying Christian apologetics protects believers against culture. Our culture is decidedly non-Christian and is slowly becoming anti-Christian. The message from almost every source is that only idiots would believe the Christian story. At best there may be a grudging admittance that religion can help as long as you are not too fanatical about it. By marrying faith and reason, apologetics offers confidence. When people in the pew learn more about the reasons for faith, the problems with naturalism, the evidence for every aspect of Christianity, it offers tools for defense against the message that only people who refuse to think believe in God.
Second, studying Christian apologetics provides context for evangelism. Allow me to insert here, that apologetics is the “handmaiden for evangelism.” Every pastor wishes his people were more active in sharing their faith. Studying apologetics may take away one of those barriers to sharing. Many times people are concerned that when they witness they will be embarrassed or feel stupid in light of the objections of unbelievers. Apologetics will offer responses to most of those objections. Also, studying worldview helps believers to discern where non-believers are coming from.
For these reasons I would say to all pastors, You cannot neglect the teaching of apologetics in your church.
Even if you are not interested in bringing in an apologetics speaker, lead a study. Teach your congregation that Christianity is not just for the heart, but for the mind as well.
If we can be of service to you here at The Fredericksburg Apologetics Project, call us at 540.424.2305 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can share more about how this ministry can be an encouragement to you.