Apologetics

(The term “apologetics” comes from the Greek word apologia and means defense.  It is defined by Oxford dictionary as “reasoned arguments or writing in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.”)

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15 ESV)

 

LOCAL EVENTS 

Defend the Faith Conference http://www.defendthefaith.net
Defend the Faith is a five-day, five-night (“boot-camp” style) conference in New Orleans, sponsored by The Institute for Christian Apologetics.  It is held annually, in early January.  The conference includes dynamic speakers (from around the country, and local apologists), as well as outstanding worship.  (And, the evening sessions are free to the general public.)  This is an excellent opportunity you don’t want to miss!

Greer-Heard Point Counter-Point Forumhttp://www.greerheard.com
“The Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum in Faith and Culture is a program of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  The Forum (sponsored by The Institute for Christian Apologetics) is designed to provide a venue in which respected scholars of differing opinions dialogue on critical issues in religion, science, philosophy, and/or culture from their differing perspectives.”  It is held each year between February and April.

WEBSITES

The Poached Egg ~  www.thepoachedegg.net
The Poached Egg is a large continually expanding virtual library of Christian worldview and apologetics articles and essays.

Please Convince Me ~ www.pleaseconvinceme.com
This website, Please Convince Me, “was born from an honest search for answers to the most important questions of life.”  It was begun by J. Warner Wallace, author of Cold Case Christianity.  Wallace is a cold case homicide detective who was a “content” atheist till age 35.  His articles are what one would expect from a detective – very thorough and well-researched.  Check out the “Academy” page for information on six free online courses.

Reasonable Faith ~  www.reasonablefaith.org
Reasonable Faith, features the work of Dr. William Lane Craig, one of today’s most well-respected philosophers and theologians.  Through this site, he “aims to provide in the public arena an intelligent, articulate, and uncompromising gracious Christian perspective on the most important issues concerning the truth of the Christian faith today.”

Stand to Reason ~  www.str.org/explore
Stand to Reason “trains Christians to think more clearly about their faith and to make an even-handed, incisive, yet gracious defense for classical Christianity and classical values in the public square.”

CURRICULUMS

Please Convince Me Academy ~ http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com
Free online courses by Christian apologist, J. Warner Wallace (author of Cold Case Christianity).  Wallace is a cold case homicide detective who was very content with his life as an atheist, until around age 35 when he became convinced that Christianity is true.  PCM Academy includes the following six courses:  Answering the Objections of Atheists (14 lessons); Making a Case for God’s Existence (13 lessons); Articulating the Gospel Message (16 lessons); Embracing the Christian Essentials (12 lessons); Affirming the Bible’s Reliability (10 lessons); and Studying the Person of Jesus (14 lessons).

Why Do You Believe That? – A Faith Conversation DVD/book set – Mary Jo Sharp — available through:  http://www.lifeway.com
This is a 7 week women’s Bible study by apologist Mary Jo Sharp.  “This video-driven women’s Bible study helps to equip women to have meaningful spiritual conversations.  Join Mary Jo in a practical seven-session study and gain understanding and skill to share Jesus effectively with others, and you’ll better understand your own faith. Answer your doubts, build your confidence, and start changing lives.”

CLUBS

Ratio Christihttp://www.ratiochristi.org
Ratio Christi is a global movement that equips students and faculty to give historical, philosophical, and scientific reasons for following Jesus Christ.  Ratio Christi began in 2008 and has chapters at many universities across America, and has recently begun “College Prep” chapters in high schools.

BOOKS

Mere Christianity ~ C. S. Lewis  (One of the best apologetic books ever.)
“Arguably the 20th century’s most influential Christian writer, C.S. Lewis sought to explain and defend the beliefs that nearly all Christians at all times hold in common. His simple yet deeply profound classic, originally delivered as a series of radio broadcasts, is a book to be thoroughly digested by believers and generously shared with skeptics.”

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist – Norman Geisler and Frank Turek (Very good book – addresses many common questions.)
“To some, the concept of having faith in a higher power or a set of religious beliefs is nonsensical. Indeed, many view religion in general, and Christianity in particular, as unfounded and unreasonable.  Norman Geisler and Frank Turek argue, however, that Christianity is not only more reasonable than all other belief systems, but is indeed more rational than unbelief itself. With conviction and clear thinking, Geisler and Turek guide readers through some of the traditional, tested arguments for the existence of a creator God. They move into an examination of the source of morality and the reliability of the New Testament accounts concerning Jesus. The final section of the book deals with a detailed investigation of the claims of Christ. This volume will be an interesting read for those skeptical about Christianity, as well as a helpful resource for Christians seeking to articulate a more sophisticated defense of their faith.”

The Reason for God ~ Timothy Keller (A must read!)
“Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics and non-believers bring to religion. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand against the backlash toward religion spawned by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.”

Defending the Faith ~ Mary Jo Sharp (Intended for women readers.)
“Today’s Christian woman needs the transformation that having a reasoned belief in the reality of God’s existence can bring, the intellectual confidence that will empower her to speak boldly on faith issues, with love and self-control.  Popular apologist Mary Jo Sharp issues a personal challenge for sisters in Christ to approach their faith on an intellectual level, along with a compelling call for women’s ministries to help women love God with their minds by incorporating apologetics into their programs.”

The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict ~ Josh McDowell   (Textbook-style.  Great information.)
“Christians today face growing challenges to show that their faith is both relevant and credible. In Josh McDowell’s The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, you’ll get the ammunition you need to defend your faith against the barrage of criticisms. This 760-page hardcover combines the two original best-selling volumes into one, maintaining their classic defense of the faith, yet answering new questions posed by today’s culture.”

More Than a Carpenter ~ Josh McDowell   (Very short.  Easy reading.)
“The inspirational classic, More than a Carpenter, is now updated for a new generation of seekers with a fresh look, revised material, and a new chapter that addresses questions commonly raised today. Former skeptic Josh McDowell is now joined by his son Sean as they examine the evidence about Jesus. Is he really the Lord he claimed to be? How can we know for sure? More than a Carpenter offers arguments for faith from a skeptic turned believer. Since its original publication in 1977, this modern classic has sold over 15 million copies, been translated into dozens of languages, and introduced countless people to the real Jesus. Now with new content that addresses questions raised by today’s popular atheist writers.”

Cold Case Christianity – J. Warner Wallace (If you enjoy C.S.I., you’ll like this book!)
“Christianity could be defined as a ‘cold case': it makes a claim about an event from the distant past for which there is little forensic evidence. In Cold-Case Christianity,J. Warner Wallace uses his nationally recognized skills as a homicide detective to look at the evidence and eyewitnesses behind Christian beliefs. Including gripping stories from his career and the visual techniques he developed in the courtroom, Wallace uses illustration to examine the powerful evidence that validates the claims of Christianity.”

Reasonable Faith – William Lane Craig (More philosophical in nature.)
“J. Gresham Machen once said, ‘False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel’-which makes apologetics that much more important. Wanting to engage not just academics and pastors but Christian laypeople and seekers, William Lane Craig has revised and updated key sections in this third edition of his classic text to reflect the latest work in astrophysics, philosophy, probability calculus, the arguments for the existence of God, and Reformed epistemology.   His approach-that of positive apologetics-gives careful attention to crucial questions and concerns, including: the relationship of faith and reason, the existence of God, the problems of historical knowledge and miracles, the personal claims of Christ, and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. He shows that there is good reason to think Christianity is true. As Craig says, “If you have a sound and persuasive case for Christianity, you don’t have to become an expert in comparative religions and Christian cults. A positive justification of the Christian faith automatically overwhelms all competing world views lacking an equally strong case.”

The Language of God – Francis S. Collins (For those who think they can’t be a Christian for scientific reasons — Collins proves otherwise.  He is a well-respected, world-renowned scientist … and a Christian.)  “An instant bestseller, The Language of God provides the best argument for the integration of faith and logic since C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity .  It has long been believed that science and faith cannot mingle. Faith rejects the rational, while science restricts us to a life with no meaning beyond the physical. It is an irreconcilable war between two polar-opposite ways of thinking and living. Written for believers, agnostics, and atheists alike, The Language of God provides a testament to the power of faith in the midst of suffering without faltering from its logical stride. Readers will be inspired by Collin’s personal story of struggling with doubt, as well as the many revelations of the wonder of God’s creation that will forever shape the way they view the world around them.”

MEDIA

The Case for Christ (DVD) – Lee Stroebel  (also sold in book format)
“Lee Strobel, the former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, draws upon his investigative skills in this compelling film that follows his two-year investigation of the bible and the life of Jesus Christ.  Topics include: the historical accuracy of the Gospels, the personal claims of Jesus, and His resurrection from the dead.”

The Case for a Creator (DVD) – Lee Stroebel (also sold in book format)
“In this powerful Biblical apologetic, Lee Strobel tackles two of the most emotional questions posed about Christianity; ‘Why is Jesus the only way to God?’ and, ‘How could a loving God exist if there is evil and suffering in the world?”

The Case for Faith (DVD) – Lee Stroebel (also sold in book format)
“Does contemporary scientific evidence point toward or away from a supernatural Creator?  Featuring interviews with scientists and scholars from a wide range of disciplines, this remarkable film traces Strobel’s own journey from spiritual skepticism to profound faith.”