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In my previous blog, I briefly unpacked five ways apologetic preaching can help the church navigate these challenging times, while also sharing four of eight points of what it looks like to apologetically equip our congregations today. In this post, I’ll briefly unpack points five through eight before concluding with a few final thoughts. That said, if we’re going to apologetically equip our churches, here’s how we can do that.

Fifth, set an apologetic tone that is humble and refuse to be a bully from the pulpit.

Sadly, many pastors have used this humility as an excuse to avoid apologetics altogether. But that would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. We can’t detach our pulpit presentation from our personal character. Apologetics in preaching is important, but we want to present a humble apologetic. As James Sire reminds us in A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics, “It is important to see that a humble holy life is far more significant than one’s ability to fashion and present a verbal apologetic for that life.”[1]

Sixth, it’s holistic.

Apologetics often has the reputation of being all head and no heart. But with a holistic approach to apologetics, it’s a head, heart, and hands endeavor. Many left-brain types of people love to conquer content, but the point of the content is to shape our character.

Seventh, apologetics can’t save anyone.

This point is a concession. As great as apologetics can be, it doesn’t save people. But it can erase obstacles preventing people from seeing the truth. And the good news is this. The Holy Spirit can accomplish more through one powerful encounter than we can through an entire lifetime of preaching.

Eighth, remember, the pulpit is not meant to be exclusively used for apologetics.

I’ve had many people come to churches where I’ve pastored only to say, “We want to be a part of an apologetics church” and I’m quick to reply, “We aren’t an apologetics church, but rather we are a church that does apologetics.” There’s a difference. Our faith is not only to be defended but enjoyed. There’s more to the church than apologetics. There’s’ community, service, outreach, and so much more. The church is the place to practice heaven on earth. And think about it. In heaven there won’t be a need for apologetics.

As I bring this to a wrap, the general principles we discussed might benefit from some specific preaching tips. Here are a few practical tips to remember for making your pulpit more apologetically mindful.

  1. Anticipate Objections: As you prepare your message proactively anticipate objections that need to be addressed. For example, if you’re teaching John 14:6 about Jesus being the way, the truth and the life don’t fail to answer the obvious question, “What about those who never heard?” Nothing is more frustrating than a pastor or commentator who skips over the obvious due to a lack of preparation or a fear of conflict.
  2. Be Transparent: As you deliver your message model a concessional apologetic approach when appropriate. For example, admit your own struggles that you had with the text and how you reconciled the tension you felt. When we preach as if we never wrestle with the text our people may wrongly conclude that we’ve got it altogether. We don’t. Every honest pastor knows the tension of trying to understand various difficult passages. Admit that. For example, did you struggle with doubt, or relatability, or coming to a clear interpretation? We often begin our Sunday morning message by sharing the conclusions we’ve made about the text without sharing the process we went through to arrive there. That’s where the connection happens between a pastor and his flock. So, be vulnerable. Let people know the types of questions and doubts you wrestled with and show them how you resolved the tension. Perhaps you still feel the tension. That’s okay. Let them know you’re still praying for clarity. Remove the pressure from thinking you must have a solid position for every passage you teach. Sometimes our study will lead to further questions than answers. That’s okay. You’re thinking. And learning takes time.
  3. Tell The Story: Finally, as you develop your message remember to leverage the power of story. Stories add color to our apologetic content. And no one modeled the power of story better than Jesus. Storytelling makes apologetics more digestible. It’s one way we can connect hard truths to the human heart. That’s because stories grab our attention. Stories move us more than propositions. So, paint your propositions with pictures of real-life stories. Our people will struggle to grasp the need for apologetics until they understand the relevance of it. And nothing will establish the relevance of apologetics more than real life stories of how apologetics has helped real life people find real life answers.          


[1] (2006; pgs. 16-17)


Recommended resources related to the topic:

Jesus, You and the Essentials of Christianity by Frank Turek (INSTRUCTOR Study Guide), (STUDENT Study Guide)

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Paperback), and (Sermon) by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek

Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions by Greg Koukl (Book)

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



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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