Why We Must Teach Apologetics Unapologetically

I spoke recently about Jesus as the only way of salvation. I explained that it can’t be true that all paths lead to God.

Now, this is a very anti-PC thing to be teaching. I didn’t want to just jump to a single Bible verse to say it.

Instead, I walked through the biblical narrative of creation, explaining how in the beginning people worshiped one God. Over time, other faiths developed, and I showed how Jesus was the fulfillment of prophesy going back to the Garden of Eden.

I stressed that it was not logical that all faiths could be right, since they contradict one another in major ways. I shared why I trust the Bible as the source of truth and put my confidence in Jesus as the One Way.

Afterward, a young woman told me she trusted in Jesus that night because she hadn’t ever heard a pressing argument that showed why the statement of Jesus as the One Way made sense.

Obviously, there were many things leading up to that night, and God had been working in her heart for months beforehand. But it was having a “reason for the hope” laid out and explained that ended up moving her heart to full faith.

I have been in ministry for more than 20 years, much of it focused on youth and college-age, and I don’t think there ever has been a more urgent need to teach apologetics than there is today. Here’s why.

New generations do not know the story of God.

Judges 2:10 speaks of a time when “another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done.” This is increasingly the situation today.

Many were raised without being taught the Bible, so they don’t understand God’s love and grace through Jesus. A local public high school teacher told me that in a class of 25 students, not a single student knew Jesus was associated with Easter Sunday.

This illustrates the urgent need to develop systematic teaching and reasonable responses to the questions that inevitably arise from a generation unfamiliar with the Bible’s story.

Increasingly, culture portrays Christianity as a religion of hate, intolerance and ignorance.

Because people don’t know the Bible’s story, different stories have emerged, sometimes portraying Christians as hateful, Jesus as just one more teacher among the world’s religions, and the God of the Bible as a jealous, violent deity. God is attributed with indiscriminately ordering genocide on entire people groups, endorsing slavery and demanding crude blood sacrifices from biblical worshipers.

Neo-atheists and others take bits of the Bible out of context or use verses in isolation to portray God and Christians in these ways—and the Internet accelerates the spread of this alternate narrative to an ever-wider audience.

Ironically, many of these arguments against God and faith are themselves based on Bible verses, making them doubly confusing.

To counter these caricatures of Christianity, we must be proactive, using apologetics to teach what the Bible really does and does not say, and what Christians actually believe and why.

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Dan Kimball
Dan Kimball serves on the staff of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., where his current role is overseeing the Sunday gatherings and teaching as well as the missional aspects of the church. He also serves on the Vintage Faith Church Leadership Council. Dan's role also includes extending the mission of the church through writing and speaking.