2019 was a busy year for Christian apologetics in Missouri Baptist churches. Not only did the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network complete its fifth year of service with 16 certified pastors and lay leaders, but I was privileged to speak 65 times in 26 different locations throughout the year – including apologetics events in Florida and California.
Just to be clear, Christian apologetics simply is offering a reasonable defense of the Christian faith. The English word “apologetics” comes from the Greek noun “apologia,” which means “a defense.”
The apostle Paul applies the term to his ministry of defending the gospel (Phil. 1:7, 16), and the apostle Peter broadens its application to all Christians, urging us to be ready at all times to offer a reason for the hope in us – and to do so with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15-16).
Three simple steps
One good way to equip yourself to defend the faith is to take part in an MBC-led apologetics workshop tailored to the needs of your local church or association. If your church or association would like to host such a workshop in 2020, it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
- Pick a date
Popular formats include: One-day (typically a Saturday or a Sunday); two-day (typically Saturday-Sunday); and three-day (typically Friday-Sunday). But I’m flexible and work to meet your needs, no matter the days of the week or the format.
- Select your topics
Most topics are covered in one-hour sessions, except where greater depth is offered as indicated. Popular topics include:
What is Christian apologetics?
What is a Christian worldview?
How do I know the Bible is true? (1-3 hours)
Who is the real Jesus? (1-2 hours)
What do false teachers have in common?
What do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe? (1-2 hours)
What do Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe? (1-2 hours)
What do Muslims believe? (1-2 hours)
What should Christians know about the Trinity? (1-6 hours)
What should Christians know about same-sex attraction?
What should everyone know about the afterlife? (1-3 hours)
What should Christians know about salvation? (1-6 hours)
- Promote the workshop
Once the dates and topics are set, promote the workshop from the pulpit, through Sunday school classes and small groups, in church bulletins, and on your website. Invite other churches in your area to attend.
What does it cost?
If your local church is affiliated with the MBC, your church’s gifts through the Cooperative Program cover all travel expenses. A speaker’s honorarium or love offering is appreciated but not required.
When your church hosts an apologetics workshop, participants may purchase the following MBC apologetics resources at the deeply discounted price of $5 per copy:
The Apologist’s Tool Kit
What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation
What Everyone Should Know About the Afterlife
What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity
What Every Christian Should Know About Same-sex Attraction
What Every Christian Should Know About Islam
The Last Apologist: A Commentary on Jude for Defenders of the Christian Faith
Attendees also may sign up for a free monthly apologetics e-newsletter.
To learn more, visit: mobaptist.org/apologetics.
Check out MBAN
You’re also encouraged to check out speakers from the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network, who may live near you: mobaptist.org/apologetics/mban.
Thanks again for your interest in defending the Christian faith. May the Lord bless your church, and your association, in 2020.