Learning About Apologetics
Strengthening My Faith to Share with Others
by Joanne Troppello
Our Pastor recently announced that he was going to teach a 9-week Apologetics course on Tuesday nights at church. Right away I thought that my husband and I should attend. Then I had doubts when Pastor Chad said that this content could be over some people’s heads, but he’d try to make it understandable. Then, I also wondered if my husband would be able to make it home on time from work so we could attend the classes together. On any weeks that he couldn’t attend, I’d still go by myself, but I thought it would be nice to experience this course together.
Thankfully, he had local customers and he was able to make it home in time for us to eat a quick dinner and get to church. The class was very interesting. I am looking forward to learning more about this topic.
I had heard about apologetics on social media from a few scholars that I follow on twitter. However, I didn’t have a deeper understanding of it. The title of the course is: Apologetics: Defending Your Faith with Well-Reasoned and Thought Out Responses. Pastor Chad’s goal with this class was to help people “explain with confidence when approached with questions regarding your faith.”
The following is the topic list for each of the nine classes in the course.
What is Apologetics? – Why you should want to defend your faith in God.
The Existence of God – How to rationally prove that God exists.
A Biblical World View – Explaining the importance of a Biblical world view.
The Infallibility of Scripture – How to argue this in our worldly culture.
The Person of Christ – Proving the historicity/relevance of Jesus Christ.
The Way to Heaven – There is only one true way to get to Heaven.
God and Evil – If God is loving, why does evil exist in our world?
Connecting with Culture – Crossing the unbelieving culture to reach people.
Absolute Morality and the Problem of the New Tolerance – Discussing if an absolute moral standard exists and why the new tolerance forfeits truth.
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. – Matthew 28:16-20 (NKJV)
Years ago, my husband and I took a course at another church we attended. The course was called, Sharing My Faith. It was a course, but also a group that learned how to share the Gospel message, and then we went out into the community to share with others, by knocking on doors and sharing our testimonies. That was definitely something outside my comfort zone. However, it was a great growing experience for me spiritually.
A few years later at that church, we shared our faith, but first shared food through a mission in Philadelphia. Our church was not located in the city, but we partnered with a ministry there and brought sandwiches and bagged lunches to the homeless and others in need of food – and the Gospel message. Again, that was definitely stepping outside my comfort zone, but it was a growing experience spiritually.
A few years later, we moved and started attending our current church. We got involved in another mission opportunity where our church partnered with other churches to feed the homeless at one of the local churches. There were several teams that served on Saturdays or Tuesdays. When it was your time to serve, you would either help with the cooking of the food or serving. My husband and I served once a month on Saturdays and helped with cooking and serving. It was a very humbling experience and helped me to grow spiritually.
Now, with taking this Apologetics class – and after having a lot more life experience as a Christian – I am excited to learn how to effectively defend my faith to people who need to hear the Gospel message in our hurting world.
I know I won’t be able to memorize everything. I couldn’t memorize everything when I took the Sharing My Faith class years ago. However, as Pastor Chad said during the first class, “People don’t want to know HOW you got saved (like through church, youth group, family member, or revival meeting etc.), they want to know WHY you got saved. My personal testimony, plus understanding how to share the truth about Jesus Christ – will be more impactful than sharing anything I’ve memorized.
Why did hearing the Gospel message change your heart? What made you realize you were a sinner who needed to accept God’s gift of salvation?
That was the most important message that resonated with me after completing the first class in this course. I need to be more open to listening to people (about what they need and what their history is), rather than always talking to them. AND, I need to continually pray for the Holy Spirit to soften hardened hearts to be open to hearing the Gospel message.
Have you ever taken a course on Sharing Your Faith or on Apologetics?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.