Apologetics 101

Question Marks 01My sermons the last couple three weeks have taken an apologetic approach to the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. Can we believe the biblical accounts of these events as historical records? Or are they fantastic legends or myths designed to manipulate gullible people into believing that a merely human rabbi might actually be divine?

These questions are answered by Christians who study in the field of “Apologetics”. Although the word sounds like “apology”, it actually means “to defend” a particular person, view, belief etc. Sometimes we use the word “apologist” to describe someone who is a supporter of something. For example, “Jim is an unashamed apologist for Obamacare.” In the arena of theological studies Apologetics involves defending Christian beliefs using logic, history, and science in addition to the Bible itself. It’s about giving a reason for why you believe what you believe.

Since my sermons for this series rely very heavily on the work of others I thought the most helpful way to blog on this topic would be to share reputable resources with you.

Here’s my list:

BOOKS

  • Cold Case Christianity (2013) by J. Warner Wallace – a very easy-to-read book that “investigates” Christianity from the perspective of a homicide detective.
  • The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask about Christianity (2013) by Alex McFarland – An excellent resource for parents or anyone involved in mentoring young people.
  • Tactics (2009) by Gregory Koukl – Probably shouldn’t be a your first read on topic. This book mostly addresses ways of conducting conversations on the topic of apologetics.
  • On Guard (2010) by William Lane Craig – This is his introduction level book. He is currently one of the most prominent scholars in the field of apologetics and although his other books are more academic they’re highly recommended if you want to dig deeper.
  • The Case for Christ (1998) by Lee Strobel – also a fairly easy read. As a journalist he uses his books as an opportunity to interview and challenge experts on various topics related to questions about Jesus.
  • The Case for a Creator (2005) by Lee Strobel – In this book he examines issues related to the creation/evolution debate.
  • The Case for Faith (2000) by Lee Strobel – Not so much about apologetics. This book discusses 8 questions that Christians (and nonbelievers) struggle to answer.
  • The Case for Easter (2004) by Lee Strobel – A shorter book focused upon Jesus’ resurrection.
  • New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (2000) by Josh McDowell – an older book, but a good basic resource.
  • Other recommended books are also available in my Amazon Store.

WEBSITES

  • Smart Faith – Primarily an annual apologetics conference in Pheonix, the site also contains helpful links.
  • Christian Apologetics and Resource Ministry – This website has large number of articles and resources available.
  • Stand to Reason – is a weekly radio show on apologetics. The website includes lots of audio and articles.
  • Apologetics 315 – This site regularly provides lists of current articles on apologetic topics. It is a place where you can get daily apologetics resources including MP3 audio, debates, podcasts, book reviews, quotes, and more.
  • Reasonable Faith – The website of William Lane Craig contains numerous articles and podcasts.
  • Apologetics Press – is a Church of Christ resource.
  • For a more comprehensive list visit this page.

PODCASTS

(This list is compiled by my friend Josh! Thanks Josh.) Although the links are to the podcast page, most of these are also good resource websites not listed above.

  • Stand To Reason: These guys also have an App (for Windows Phones too!) New podcasts are available each Monday. You can also subscribe on itunes.
  • Ravi Zacharias International Ministries: This podcast is more sermonish in style then hardcore Apologetics. You can also subscribe on itunes.
  • Cross Examined: The podcast of a weekly radio show is available through their website. Also available on itunes. AND they have an App.
  • Please Convince Me Podcast: This guy is my favorite, I mostly listed to the podcast but he has mentioned several times he has a free curriculum for youth group leaders. He also discusses trips he takes with with youth groups to hear Atheists speak at UC Berkley (After the kids have been trained in apologetics). Available on itunes.
  • Alvin Plantinga: This guy is the leading expert on evolution/naturalism in terms of defending Christianity. His stuff is pretty dry and academic but really solid arguments, so some day when you’ve had too many espressos to fall asleep you need to check his stuff out. Not really a podcast channel, but he’s all over Youtube!!
  • Biola University Apologetics Events: Many of their events are live streamed so you can listen to them for free.

YOUTUBE

By this point we’ve covered most of the big names currently prominent in the field of apologetics. Quite a few of them have their own YouTube channels. I’ll list a few here and once you’re there you can look around for others.

If you have a favourite Apologetic resource that’s not listed here, please let me know in the comment section and I’ll add it to the list.

 

 

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