Thank you, Missouri Baptists, for enthusiastically supporting the MBC’s new apologetics ministry. Over the last year, I have been privileged to speak or lead workshops in many churches across the state to help Christians “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3).
Topics have ranged from “How do I know the Bible is true?” to “What do false prophets have in common?”
As many of you know, apologetics simply is “a reasonable defense of the Christian faith.” For followers of Jesus there has never been a more important time to know what we believe, why we believe, and how to share our faith with an increasingly skeptical world.
The apostle Peter urges us to “set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
When working with pastors and directors of missions to plan an apologetics event – from a half-day seminar to a full weekend retreat – I have tried to tailor the topics and resources to the needs of that particular church or association.
In the process, we’ve discovered that several doctrinal issues are high on Missouri Baptists’ list of priorities. We’ve also learned that while photocopied notes are helpful, participants prefer something more polished and permanent to take home with them.
So, we have developed The Apologist’s Tool Kit: Resources to help you defend the Christian faith. This 60-page booklet equips you to defend the Christian faith with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:16). The articles address some of the most commonly challenged Christian doctrines today, from the existence of God to the authority of scripture.
In addition, they offer a biblical basis for identifying and dealing with false prophets, and they provide an overview of several religions, cults, or sects that lay claim to scripture but deny its core teachings.
The tool kit is available for $7 and may be ordered online at mobaptist.org/apologetics or by calling 573.636.0400 ext. 303.
Articles include: What is Christian apologetics? What’s your worldview? How do I know God exists? How do I know the Bible is true? Who is the real Jesus? What do false prophets have in common? Overviews of Islam, Mormonism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Roman Catholicism. The final chapter offers practical ways to share your Christian faith with members of other religions.
Thanks to graphic designer Jim Thorne for designing the booklet, and to executive director John Yeats for establishing a Christian apologetics ministry for Missouri Baptists.
Finally, thanks to you for your financial support through the Cooperative Program, which makes is possible for me to travel the state and lead apologetics workshops at no charge to you or your church.
As always, I welcome your feedback. Check out The Apologist’s Tool Kit and let me know how I can help you and your congregation build a positive case for Christianity.
This column first appeared Oct. 8, 2013, in The Pathway, the news journal of the Missouri Baptist Convention.