As Christian leaders and pastors, we need to take seriously our charge to watch over the souls of those in our spiritual care and to prepare them for what they will face from Monday morning through Saturday night (cf. Hebrews 13:17). If we don’t teach them, who will? C. S. Lewis famously remarked that “good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” We can no longer just relegate apologetics to the small group that 5 percent of the people in our churches will participate in. We need to creatively include it in our sermons where appropriate and in church life regularly.
Pastor Tim Keller, author of The Reason for God, shared the following regarding apologetics and his ministry: “Over the last twenty years my preaching and teaching has profited a great deal from doing the hard work of reading philosophy, especially the work of older Christian philosophers and scholars (Plantinga, Wolterstorff, Mavrodes, Alston) and the younger ones. Ministers need to be able to glean and put their arguments into easy to understand form, both in speaking and in evangelism.” Furthermore, “If pastors fail to do their homework in these areas [science, biblical criticism, philosophy], then there will remain a substantial portion of the population — unfortunately, the most intelligent and therefore most influential people in society, such as doctors, educators, journalists, lawyers, business executives, and so forth — who will remain untouched by their ministry.”
I am more convinced than ever that Christianity is actually true and that our faith is well placed. But we need to do the hard work to make these good reasons available in an accessible way to everyday Christians. This is especially true in the age of skepticism that we live in.
Unfortunately many pastors do not have advanced training in Apologetics, Worldview, Culture, and Philosophy and don’t have the confidence to speak to these issues. This is one of the reasons that I wrote Think Christianly: Looking at the Intersection of Faith and Culture (Zondervan, 2011). To give Christians a substantive overview of the issues our culture is talking about and where to go for distinctively Christian responses to everything from God and Science, to Bioethics, to Pluralism.
Here’s what some Christian Leaders are saying about Think Christianly:
“As someone who has devoted many years of ministry to teaching Christian worldview. I am thrilled to see dynamic and faithful worldview leaders like Jonathan Morrow stepping to the fore. Think Christianly…equips Christians young and old to engage the culture winsomely, intelligently, and with confidence.”-Chuck Colson, colsoncenter.org
“We Christians love to lob rhetorical grenades at the surrounding culture from the safety of our holy huddle. What’s far more difficult…is to engage the issues of our day with intelligence, moral clarity, and biblical wisdom. That’s exactly what Jonathan Morrow does in Think Christianly.”-Drew Dyck, Managing editor of Leadership Journal
“In a time when truth is distorted and biblical teachings are misunderstood, our commitment to engaging culture must not be compromised…Think Christianly is a much needed resource as we seek to honor God in both what we believe and how we live.”-Jason Hayes, National Young Adult Ministry Specialist, LifeWay Christian Resources
“Think Christianly is a remarkable and important achievement. Written in an…accessible style, it covers an exhaustive range of topics. Indeed, I know of no other book like it in this regard, and it is now the first book to which to turn for learning the specifics of how to think Christianly.”-J. P. Moreland, author of The God Question
Recently, Trevin Wax wrote a blog post on the importance of pastors preaching with unbelievers in mind and it is well worth reading as it draws from two of the best communicators of our day (Tim Keller and Andy Stanley).
Let’s keep the conversation going, have you Subscribed to the Think Christianly Podcast yet?