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If apologetics has ever met its moment in our culture that moment is now. And it’s especially urgent for some good old-fashioned pulpit apologetics. We need preachers to rise to the occasion and equip their flocks with the apologetic know-how to reach this confused and collapsing culture. As the great wordsmith Carl Trueman put it:

“Every age has had its darkness and its dangers. The task of the Christian is not to whine about the moment in which he or she lives but to understand its problems and respond appropriately to them.” [1]

It’s no secret that ours is a country replete with problems, so much so it’s even harder to imagine a real United States again. And like those ancient Corinthians many in the church have joined the cultural party of unrestrained living. Here’s where apologetic preaching comes into play by helping churches to better navigate these trying times. As a tool, apologetics can (1) aid pastors seeking to help people racked by doubts, it can (2) equip believers with a biblical worldview, apologetics can also (3) help believers articulate the credibility of Christianity to a culture where many have written it off as a superstition of the past and it can (4) help heighten believers discernment to detect false ideas before they take root. And finally (5) apologetic preaching can protect our flocks from going the way of culture. But where do we begin? I mean, what does this look like to apologetically equip our churches from our pulpits?

First, it’s important to understand our own local ministry context.

We need to answer the questions unique to our milieu. If you reside in LA then learn something about Scientology, if you abide in Salt Lake City you’ll want to freshen up on Mormonism, if you’re in Hawaii think through Buddhist teachings, but obviously, if you’re in Texas pouring over Confucianism is not very strategic, unless you’re in Austin.

Second, we need to discern and confront the ideas that have shaped the values of our American landscape.

Ours is a country shaped by militant secularism, religious pluralism, and sexual obsession. I’ve never seen a culture so obsessed with their genitals. It’s such a problem that many have turned sex into a god. But serving the sex-god makes for a poor savior. To leverage Trueman again, in his book, The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, he reminds us,

“A movement that cannot or will not draw boundaries, or that allows the modern cultural fear of exclusion to set its theological agenda, is doomed to lose its doctrinal identity. Once it does, it will drift from whatever moorings it may have had in historic Christianity.”[2]

Third, get familiar with the biggest longstanding objections to Christianity.

Here’s where every pastor needs to brush up on the age-old apologetic answers to questions regarding truth, evidence for God’s existence, the possibility of miracles, the problem of evil and suffering, the reliability of Scripture and the historical evidence for Christ’s resurrection.

Fourth, as pastors we need to maintain a steady diet of learning.

Seminary is not the end, but the beginning. Today’s pulpiteer should be a student of Scripture, philosophy, apologetics, theology, psychology, and culture. This is what made Timothy Keller so impactful. He was a well-rounded communicator. And as a result, his preaching connected with people’s hearts—big time! I know it can be overwhelming as there is so much to learn. I feel it myself. It’s overwhelming at times in our information age. But know this. My intent is not to burden you, but to offer an approach to the pulpit that will richly equip you and your congregation. At the end of the day, there’s no end to learning. So, enjoy it instead of trying to conquer it.

In my next blog, I’ll carry on this discussion by developing some further points to consider as it relates to apologetic preaching. In the meantime, I hope this offers you a little food for thought. Bon appetit.


[1] The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self (2020), 30

[2]The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (2012; pg. 25)


Recommended resources related to the topic:

Counter Culture Christian: Is the Bible True? by Frank Turek (Mp3), (Mp4), and (DVD)       

Defending Absolutes in a Relativistic World (Mp3) by Frank Turek


Bobby serves as lead pastor of Image Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is well known for his YouTube ministry called, One Minute Apologist, which now goes by the name Christianity Still Makes Sense. He also serves as the Co-Host of Pastors’ Perspective, a nationally syndicated call-in radio show on KWVE in Southern California. Bobby earned his Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, his Doctor of Ministry in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from the University of Birmingham (England), where he was supervised under David Cheetham and Yujin Nagasawa. Bobby’s also written several books, including The Fifth Gospel, Doubting Toward Faith, Does God Exist, and Fifty-One Other Questions About God and the Bible, and the forthcoming Christianity Still Makes Sense, to be published by Tyndale in April 2024. He’s married to his lovely wife Heather, and together they have two grown kids: Haley and Dawson.


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