[Originally published as part of 5 Dangerous ideas about faith]
Dangerous Idea # 4 “Apologetics is not for everyone”
An apologist is someone who responds to objections and gives reasons for a certain viewpoint. Everyone is an apologist to some degree. If I attacked your favorite movie, you better believe that you would be an apologist for it and defend it! An apologist isn’t afraid to make a case for why they believe that their viewpoint is true and worth believing in. As we have already established by this point:
There is absolute truth
Faith is not blind
Debating is good and vital for everyone to discover truth and refine their thinking
Since those three things are true, then everyone must receive training in apologetics! What kind of apologetics? Defending the greatness of the Flash against other superheroes? We may be able to do that, but If Christianity is true, wouldn’t it make sense that, out of our love for God and others, we should receive training in Christian apologetics? Why? Because we should care about and celebrate truth.
Since everyone is an apologist, the question becomes, are you an apologist for a worldview that best explains reality?
What if we end up living as if the pursuit of money and stuff as the greatest aim of life? Then we may be subtly communicating that nature and material things are all that exist. We all have a worldview that, one way or another, we end up defending with our words and how we choose how we spend our time.
Is our life defending something that is truly valuable, though?
Most of our friends and family may not be at the point now where they would read a book on the scientific and logical evidence for Christianity, but they may be open to hearing from you to present a case for Christianity. If you were in a similar position, without knowledge of the truth, wouldn’t you want your friends and family to work hard to communicate and persuade you to the truth?
Famous TV show magician and atheist Penn Jillette commented in one of his YouTube videos that he doesn’t respect people who don’t proselytize (share their faith). He explained to his audience, “How much do you have to hate someone not to share your faith?” Furthermore, he mentioned that if we really do believe in heaven and hell, then out of love for others, we should be sharing our faith with them.
Additionally, to shape our own minds around truth, we must study apologetics. Apologetics helps deepen our faith and confidence to talk with others. Also, it helps us see how all of reality must be shaped around the truth of the inspired words of God: The Old and New Testament Scriptures.
We (typically) study hard in subjects in school but then are afraid to challenge ourselves by learning apologetics in defending the truth of Christianity. We can do better. We must, or else we will continue seeing the number of teens who understand and embrace the reasonableness of the Christian worldview continue to vanish (only 4% of teens today, according to recent Barna research). I am not saying that we all have to become professional apologists, but I am saying that all believers must do better at articulating the truthfulness of the Christian worldview.