“Our greatest ability is our availability.”
Dick Woodward, Marketplace Disciples, pg. 324
Have you ever considered how much time it takes to reach unbelieving people for Jesus Christ?
William Lane Craig recently did an interview on Fox News to promote his latest book, A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity, and the Bible. In a few minutes, he made an articulate and defensible case for believing in God and for the Christian faith. What strikes me most about the interview is how well prepared Dr. Craig is to engage thinkers—there are forty-five years of intense study behind his eight-minute interview.
But frankly there are many times when apologetics can open doors to the Christian faith that might otherwise be closed. If I’m going to have my faith challenged—or even mocked—by a non-believer, responding with logic and reason carries more sway than quoting Scripture. I’m not counting on my intellect to get me through; I’m just saying it may be wiser to prepare the soil, sow the seeds, and water the crop before calling for the harvest. Jesus intended that we should ‘sow’ when He gave us the Great Commission. When He said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, He meant for us to work at renewing our minds.
So why don’t more people appreciate apologetics as a tool for sharing their faith? Apologetics takes a lot of time. We don’t hear much in the way of apologetics from our pulpits. It’s more of a personal discipleship sort of thing. Truth be told, most people don’t even know what apologetics is. So what is apologetics, really, and why should we care?
We’ve written about Dr. Bobby Conway several times on Veracity. He is the lead pastor of Life Fellowship in Charlotte, NC, and also the founder of the One Minute Apologist, a creative YouTube apologetics ministry. In a recent interview with Brian Auten of Apologetics315 (one of our recommended websites) he talks about his background, the need for apologetics in the church, incorporating apologetics into preaching, doing multimedia apologetics, advice for those studying apologetics, the On Guard DVD program he created with William Lane Craig, and more. (I still get a kick bending the truth that I was on the One Minute Apologist last fall.)
Click on the play button above to listen to Dr. Conway’s interview. He does a great job framing, explaining, and using apologetics for all the right reasons, namely to remove obstacles.
When you get right down to it, apologetics is about spending time to prepare yourself to reach out to people who have obstacles to faith in Christ. The thing I find most compelling about great apologists is their willingness to put in the time so they can reach out to those who often don’t wish to be reached. It would be much easier to simply walk away from most of these people, but they don’t. What about you? Wouldn’t now be a good time for apologetics?
A Small Thing That Isn’t So Small
Last Sunday, Pastor Travis Simone again mentioned in his sermon the importance of having a special place to study God’s Word. We all have our distractions, but if you don’t have a place to study and meditate (as Bobby Conway related Howard Hendricks’ 40-20 rule during the interview) it’s very important to get one. If you can’t work it out at home, go to work or school early, stay late, go to the library, listen to podcasts in your car or while exercising, but by all means find a place that works for you. I’ve got a favorite easy chair, an iPad, a smart TV, and all kinds of ways to read and study, but nothing comes close to sitting upright at a computer, using the resources of the Internet to further my personal discipleship. I mention this as a footnote not to state what should be obvious, but because I am shocked by the number of people who haven’t yet worked this out. Challenge yourself and take care of this important business.