The following is a fantastic post by Clay Jones that does a good job of summing up our purpose in forming TC Apologetics. Through posts online, shared resources, training and open discussion, we endeavor to train Christians in defending the faith accurately and winsomely.
Read Clay’s thoughts and let us know what you think!
An Apologist in Every Church
by Clay Jones, Associate Professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University
It is my heartfelt contention that every church in the world needs an apologist. Here’s why I say that. I have found that the average member of the average congregation is riddled with doubt. They hear The Da Vinci Code proclaim that the Council of Nicaea suppressed contrary gospels. They hear that James Cameron has discovered the Lost Tomb of Jesus. They hear from the Zeitgeist movie that Jesus is just a rehashing of a long line of pagan dying and rising gods. And so on and on.
The trouble is that these confused congregants often don’t know where to turn. Those who do seek advice will often go to their pastor whom they considered to be the wisest man they know. The problem with that is that the pastor is usually very busy! Not only is the pastor preparing Sunday’s sermon, he’s probably preparing the Wednesday night sermon too. Then there’s counseling to do, church administration, hospital visitation, meeting with his staff, etc. I used to be a pastor and I know from experience that most pastors are really busy. And, honestly, for most of them, reading The Da Vinci Code or watching the Zeitgeist movie (both were silly, by the way), can’t be that high on their list.
So what happens? The pastor does his best. The trouble, however, is that unless that pastor really has studied these things he isn’t really going to be able to answer these issues so the congregant then walks away and thinks, “wow, I just asked the theologically smartest person I know and he didn’t know the answer.”
What happens to the confused Christians then is that they push these questions down inside. The problem with that is that in time these repressed questions begin to build a wedge between them and real confidence in Jesus. As we like to say around here, You can’t love the Lord with all your mind and secretly suspect that Christianity can’t answer the hard questions.
That’s why Christians in the average church need to be studied enough to answer the tough questions! Now this person may be the pastor. After all, we have some graduates of our program who are pastors! But, if it’s not going to be the pastor, then we need Christians to study and come alongside to support the pastor so that they can answer these hard questions.
Did I ever mention that I teach in the Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics program at Biola University?
But, seriously, if you are a smart Christian who is not afraid to study hard, then the Christian church needs you!
Ephesians 4:11-16: And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
(Read full post here: http://www.clayjones.net/2010/12/an-apologist-in-every-church/)