I must confess that I have not been a huge apologetics guy in the past. I've always had respect for those who were knowledgeable in the field, and read a few books here and there. Most of the time, I found apologetics to be too science-based and less apt at answering some of the primary existential objections that people raised to God's existence or supremacy.
We live in a different time. As Lee Strobel noted in his class at the National Outreach Convention here in San Diego this week, many atheists are becoming more aggressive, more ugly, and more public than ever before. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and even the more "pop" guys like Bill Maher are going public viciously, and so apologetics may be on the verge of a renaissance. This is a good thing, I believe. While we might not want to go all the way back to the "believe because of the evidence" way of doing evangelism…it seems to me that most Christians now "believe" predominantly on how their lives have gone, are going, and their experience with Christians in general. This too is thin.
Lee's class was entitled, "The Future of Apologetics." I thought I'd go because I haven't spent a ton of time thinking about apologetics in the last 10 years, really. I found him to be a great presenter, great guy, and a great apologist. Here are his seven predictions for the future of apologetics:
- Apologetics will be better informed…avoiding the overstatement and inaccurracies that tripped up Christian apologetics in previous years. He believe this will happen because Christian apologists are being tested more, by smarter people, in a more hostile way.
- Because they do not have another option, apologists will begin engaging skeptics.. even in debate form again.
- At the same time, Apologetics will be more relational. There will be a more conversational groups, more relational evangelism going on than in previous times.
- Apologetics will be more personal. That is, the messenger and the message will need to be true.
- Apologetics will be more creative–making use of new venues, new media, new approaches, etc.
- This was one I rejoiced over — apologetics will become more church based.
- Apologetics will be more dependent on God and empowered by the Spirit.
Log on to LeeStrobel.com for truckloads of useful stuff.
Any quarrels on any of these? Any of these make you go… "Oh, I hope that doesn't happen!"