by Rob Lundberg
The other morning I was journaling, and a startling thought came to mind. It was the thought of wondering if we have a lack of interest in something, I will call x, there is a high percentage that we are going to ignore x. The converse is also true is that if one ignores x, there is a high level probability that they have a lack of interest in the x they are ignoring.
Let me replace the x with x being equal to apologetics or defending your faith or making a case for why you believe. The reason why I start this post with this thought is because I believe there appears to be a lack of interest in apologetics. Why that is could be for various reasons. But nevertheless, many believers are ignoring the need for it and have become oblivious to some important things that are happening in and hurting the church.
There are six things that I want to shed light on that I believe are creating some reasons that will take away the church’s effectiveness in the coming years. To put it another way, I am seeing that if we continue to ignore six things, it could lead to a loss of influence of the American church in our growing secular culture. Those might sound like sobering words, but someone has to put them out there.
In this post I am going to defend my premises by giving six (6) points. At the end of each point, I want to raise a question or two to help us think through where each and every one of us are as an ambassador of Christ.
i. The fact we cannot ignore is that everybody gives some kind of “apologetic” (defense) for what they deem important to them – No matter if it is a favorite car make, sports team, ice cream flavor, or whatever, every person will give their defense on why that whatever they are defending is their favorite. Why is peppermint stick ice cream better than pistachio nut ice cream? Why is your favorite sports team better than all the rest? Why do you like Mazda over Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, or Lexus? Why do you like x rather than y. You will have your reasons or defense why you prefer one over the other.
Question: If you are a Christian, are you able to give your reasons why Jesus is superior to Muhammad, Buddha, or any of the gurus? Why is the Bible true over the Qur’an, the Gita, Vedas, Upanishads, the Book of Mormon, or the Tipitaka? Are you able to answer these? If not do you know where to go for answers?
ii. The statistics of the fall out of our young people can no longer be ignored – It does not matter if you look at the figures and the data from Barna, Lifeway, the Pew Forum, or whatever Christian survey group the statistics all point to the fact that roughly 75-80% of the kids coming out of Christian homes are walking away from the faith in their first year in college or university or away from home. No Christian family is exempt from this (public school, Christian school, and homeschool), we hear the testimonies from families, and speak to the kids who are walking away.
Question: If you are a parent, I pray that you have not received the call from your son or daughter telling you that their professor who is tearing down the moral foundations you raised them with one by one and what they are saying makes sense. If you haven’t gotten the call, you may have heard of other families who have received the devastating news. Does it concern you that our kids are walking away or are you ignoring the devastation around you?
iii. The church at large seems to ignore the fact that Scripture commands us and demonstrates for us our need to defend our faith – Peter writing to believers who have been scattered by Roman oppression tells us in 1 Peter 3:15 – “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” Jude in his letter starts off with one intent on wanting to share the gospel with his readers, changes directions due to issues that have crept into the church, and tells his readers, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3).
Question: If Scripture admonishes us to defend our faith, and demonstrates ways it is done from Genesis to Revelation, when are we going to admit that Scripture affirms for us that apologetics gets us prepared to make a defense against the challenges that are being thrown at us by the culture?
iv. Many Christians ignore the fact that one needs reasons for believing what they believe – No sound person will believe something to be true without a reason. Whatever reason a person believes something will either be a good one or a not so good one. God has created us with minds to operate in the realm of human reason. The intellect and the capacity to reason things out is part of God’s image in us (Gen. 1:27 cf. Col. 3:10). Indeed, it is that by which we are distinguished from “brute beasts” (Jude 10). God calls upon us to use our reason (Isa. 1:18) to discern truth from error (1 John 4:6) and right from wrong (Heb. 5:14). A fundamental principle of reason is that we should have sufficient grounds for what we believe.
An unjustified belief is just that–unjustified. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” (ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ) May I add to this and state that an unexamined belief is not worth believing. The question of “why do we believe what we believe” has never been more important. Therefore, it is incumbent upon Christians “to give a reason for their hope.” This is part of the Great Commandment to love God with all our mind, as well as our heart and soul (Matt. 22:36-37).
Question: While there is the inner testimony by the Holy Spirit that the Christian faith is true, that should not be our only defense. Can you answer the question why you are a Christian without giving your personal testimony? Are you able to stand confidently before your skeptical friend’s challenges to your Christian faith? Again do you know where to go to get your answers and build a resource file?
v. Culture is calling us out to where we can no longer ignore the fact that doing evangelism today requires some kind of defense of the faith. – As culture grows more and more skeptical, do not be surprised if you run into a person who has no intention of believing what we believe. That said, many people refuse to believe, because to do so without having reasons is blind and in some cases delusional. Many people today have questions that are clouding their taking the next steps in belief and to force someone to believe is not biblical but spiritual mugging. Another thing to remember is that just because you or I say something is true, it does not mean that what we are sharing is really true. It very may well be true. But we tell the atheist that brute fact argumentation is not going to de-convert a Christian with a response, why should we try and do the same thing.
No person is going to get onto an elevator unless he has some reason to believe it will hold him up. Likewise, no reasonable person gets on an airplane that has a broken wing and smoke coming out the tail end. Belief that is prior to belief in. Our faith is as only as good as the one in whom it is placed. Thankfully there is evidence to dovetail with faith. Therefore evidence and reason are important to establish belief that. Once this is established, one can place his faith in it.
Question: There are statistics showing that there are many people sitting in pews week after week with questions, just dying to have someone give them answers. Have you been confronted with questions or do you have questions about your faith that you are ignoring, and just relying in a blind faith that Christianity is true?
vi, The last thing we cannot ignore is the toleration of aberrant teachings and music being smuggled in to our church and accepted as biblical teaching. – When I got started in doing apologetics, it was primarily reaching out to cults and cult groups like Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and New Agers. Now we have the New Apostolic Reformation and other things enticing gullible believers who are dissatisfied with biblical truth or a lack of biblical truth coming from the pulpits.
As the years pass, the problem is increasing with pastors preaching a soft theology, which sounds a lot like process theology or neo-theism, which bring God down to the level and some cases the image of man. This kind of thinking has been fed by those in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and the Prosperity Gospel. Believers go to these false teachers because they want some new thing that will satisfy them. What is the matter with a vital walk with Jesus? We need to get back to sound exegesis and sound biblical theology in our worship services in our music and in our preaching.
Question: Are you dissatisfied with God and the Bible? How much do you know about God and where are you getting your theology from? Is it coming from your study in the Bible or is coming from “tight jeaned latte sipping preacher” giving a “stump speech” on a Sunday morning? Do you realize that the New Apostolic Reformation and the Prosperity Gospels are not in line with a sound biblical theology?
I am sure that I could bring in much more into this post, but let’s admit it folks, what you ignore is what you have a lack of interest in. But the discipline of making a case for why you believe (apologetics) is not some new thing. In FACT, what was an ancient admonition from the apostle Peter (1 Peter 3:15-17) did not die with the apostles. You and I will defend what we have an interest in, whether it is a car make, sports team or whatever. But isn’t our relationship with Christ and our Christian walk more important than a car make, or a sports team?
The reason why we need a revival in the church in apologetics is because the culture is changing right before our eyes. There are places in our country where the skepticism there is much like the skepticism in England and Europe. May also say that this skepticism is spreading to even more parts of this nation.
That is why this ministry exists, along with all the other great ministries out there with larger arenas and followings. We want to come alongside the church and be an equipper to a great awakening in response to what is going on around us. The cultural buzzword “woke” leans toward skepticism and the rise of cultural Marxism in our culture.
If this is the case, the church is seen by the culture as “unawake” at the wheel. If we only wake up the mind of Christ to what is going on, can you imagine the impact the church could have in our culture and in our nation. It would be revolutionary!
 You can read more on this at A Short Q and A on the Subject of Apologetics To take this a little deeper, the Greek word pointing to our need for defending the faith is known as “apologetics” and is the Greek word apologia; is also used to mean an informal explanation or defense of one’s position (c.f. 1 Cor 9:3), and the word would aptly describe giving an answer to the skeptical, abusive, or derisive inquiries of ill-disposed neighbors. There are both New Testament and Old Testament demonstrations. For example looking to the New Testament, we find the most popular passages in Acts 25:16; 19:33; 22:1; 1 Corinthians 9:3; 2 Corinthians. 7:11; Philippians 1:7, 16; 2 Timothy 4:16 and 1 Peter 3:15-17. If we were to look into the Old Testament we can find apologetics in action in God demonstrating His power before the Pharaoh with Moses (Exodus 4:1-9); again Moses and Aaron before the Pharaoh (Exodus 7:8-13); Moses (Exodus 7:17-12:30); Elijah versus the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:20-40); God responding to Israel (Isaiah 1:18); God through the mouth of Isaiah (Isaiah 48:3-5) and others.
 I will sometimes play the “rebel’s advocate” and ask a fellow believer why they are a Christian. Often times in response to that, I get how they became a Christian. What this shows in many situations a lack of investigation, and lack of encouragement by the church at large to investigate why Christianity is the true faith. You can learn more on this issue at “Is Defending the Faith Biblical? The answer to this question is a resound YES!
Rob is a blogger, writer and public speaker on a mission to equip the believer to think and articulate what they believe and to communicate the message of the gospel to a confused culture in a chaotic, “brave new world.”
He is available to come and speak to your church, college club, or group. Find out what people are saying. If you would like to support this ministry with a one time or monthly gift, you can do that by clicking here
If you would like to book Rob for a speaking event, you can do so by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org If you have other questions about apologetics or doing apologetics, or if you are looking for apologetics resources, contact our ministry by email.