What is Apologetics?

Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense or an answer given in reply. In ancient Athens it referred to a defense made in the courtroom as part of the normal judicial procedure. After the accusation, the defendant was allowed to refute the charges with a defense or reply (apologia). The word appears 17 times in noun or verb form in the New Testament, and both the noun (apologia) and verb form (apologeomai) can be translated “defense” or “vindication” in every case.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Real Issue Podcast: Launching Out Our First Episode!

Well it has been a few years since we have doing any podcasting. Thanks to the encouragement of some of my colleagues and friend J. Warner Wallace who encouraged me to start podcasting, I have just completed a first episode.  It is a little rough around the edges but hey, you have to start somewhere. Right.

You can check it out here:


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If you have a topic that you would like us to discuss, leave us a comment and we'll seek to have an episode addressing your question in a future episode.  As of this posting we are waiting for I Tunes to validate this podcast so keep an eye on the right hand margin of this page, subscribe and I hope it serves you and that you enjoy it.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Complacency in the Church is Why We Need Apologetics

… you say to yourself, “OK, why did it happen? Why did we make those bad engineering decisions we made in 1967 and 1986 with Challenger?” I'll tell you. It's the human element. And I suggest that there's a complacency there that comes from success. —Alan Shepard, Yankee, October 1991

This is a hard post for me to write. With all the posts by myself and my colleagues out there on why we need apologetics, there seems to be missing element in our crying out. Over the years, I have heard of the casualty[1] accounts about Christian young people leaving the faith. Even as far back as our time in Upstate NY we started hearing about the fall out.

Sure there, we can give you the statistics on the 60-80% walking away after leaving home. But there is another missing ingredient in all of this. That ingredient is complacency of the church under the shadow of secularism in America. Complacency is a dangerous disease when it comes to the fall out happening.

While NASA has made some great strides in space explorations, the church in America has grown in number over the last few decades.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Biblical (Small "o" orthodox) Understanding of Justification

The teaching of justification by faith is a "cardinal" teaching that definitively and historically separates biblical Christianity from all the other belief systems. In those branches of what is called "Christianity" there are many trying to work their way to God. This is true in the case of the Orthodox groups. 

The understanding of the doctrine of justification is very important in light of the recent events this past Sunday (April 9th) with Hank Hanegraaff announcing that he, his wife and two sons have been inducted into the Eastern Orthodox (Orthodox hereafter) Church, departing from the historical Evangelical faith. Of course this sent Facebook and other social mediums buzzing on both sides of the discussion; one claiming victory in that they have "the Bible Answer Man" in their camp, while others are scratching their heads with a lot of questions on why the "Bible Answer Man" has defected from the "faith once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Dear Pastor and Ministry Leader, What is Your Church Doing to Equip Your People?

This is a unique post, but I am feeling a little concerned right now thinking some very poignant   thoughts about the condition of the church in our current cultural condition.  We live in a culture that is laced with all these ideologies, and we see Christians compromising on matters of truth, sexuality, and morals in general.  

I am not angry, just very concerned why church pastors do not see the need to train their church members to defend their faith.  Why do they not understand that the average person sitting in the pew may not accept what they are preaching because they are not hearing why they should see it relevant for their lives.  Why do they not see that 60-80% of their young people from ages 18-30, leaving the faith and becoming skeptics.   

I am thankful to be in a church, whose pastors see this need. But we are looking to not be a part our churches ministry.  I also looking to "get off the porch" and be a part of holding events here in the Fredericksburg area, whether it is at a church, a neutral setting or the local college and university campuses. So with this little rant, let me ask you, the pastor and ministry leader some very straight forward questions.

If you are a pastor or a ministry leader, may I ask you a few questions? 
  1. In the past year, what have you stopped doing to communicate and defend the faith? Have you ever started anything since you have been at your position?
  2. What, if anything, have you started doing to equip your church? If nothing, why?
  3. How could a trained apologist assist you in reaching the lost and equipping your church? 
  4. Over the long-haul, what questions or issues do you see undermining your members' ability to stick it out with Christ?  How can our team of trained apologists help?
  5. What are the greatest obstacles preventing the average church and Christian school (K-12 and undergrad) from being more involved in teaching apologetics? 
  6. What steps can be taken to overcome these obstacles?

Please feel free to leave your comments below.  I would love to dialogue with you and share more with you about the "problem" in our culture and a solution to come alongside you and assist you in  strengthening your church to stand in this post Christian culture.  You can also find more information on the "project" here on this page.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Can You and I Know Truth Exists?

Where does truth come from and is it knowable? That question seems to be harder and harder to grasp for many people today, who rely on just the senses for determining their reality of truth. But the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch come far short of knowing real truth, only to leave one swimming in the pool of relativism.

But as Solomon has said, "nothing is new under the sun." For this question, along with the question of God's existence has been with us for centuries and even millennia. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Rob on the Bellator Christi Podcast: Apologetics and the Church

This past Friday, I had the privilege to be interviewed on the Bellator Christi podcast hosted by my good friend Brian Chilton.  Brian and I met face to face at the last National Apologetics Conference, last October and had a great time of fellowship.  Brian had me on his program, because we share a common burden about how the task of apologetics needs to be revived in the American church.

For those of you who have some of the common issues about trying to get apologetics a hearing in your church, or if you would like to know what apologetics is all about, and how it can impact your evangelism, please tune into the Bellator Christi podcast, and listen to our conversation with Brian Chilton (host).

On this program we discussed a few subjects as it related to apologetics and the church. Here is an outline of our discussion for those who want to zero in on a particular subject:



Outline:
  1. Introduction. (0.00)
  2. Tell us about how you came to faith in Christ. (7:15)
  3. When we speak about apologetics, what are we referencing (for first-time listeners)? (18:00)
  4. Why is apologetics necessary for modern Christianity? (22:25)
  5. What are some of the greatest intellectual challenges facing our youth today? (29:07)
  6. What apologetics arguments do you find most useful in answering these challenges? (38:17)
  7. Is apologetics useful for evangelism? If so, why? (43:20)
  8. How can the church become better involved in the apologetics enterprise? (45:44)
  9. Tell us about Ratio Christi and your work with them. (47:30)…broken connection…picks back up at (48:13)

To listen to our discussion: (BCP) Apologetics and the Church (with Rob Lundberg)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Why Don't Christians Like Apologetics? Three Responses to Three Popular Objections to Apologetics

Every so often I find myself frustrated, wondering how long it will take Christians to get the idea that our culture is changing right before our eyes and that we need to update how we share with our ever increasing skeptical culture the gospel of Christ.  Please understand I am not advocating changing the unchanging message.  Some of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen this from some of our postings on the need for apologetics in evangelism and why it is necessary for the church to incorporate it into the ministry of the church today. 

This posting is not going to discuss the "how," but what I want to do is get to the real issue and respond to the criticisms toward apologetics and provide a response to what I think are the top three criticisms today.

Before I do, let me explain that apologetics is not just for those in the scholarly circles but for the church at large.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Three Quick Approaches to Responding to the Problem of Evil

Suppose someone told you that they were a skeptic or they had a loved one who was a skeptic, and that the biggest "bug" for them about the existence of God is the problem of evil. This conversation actually happened to me one night as I was closing up the dealership. I had a daughter with her Mom, who were believers, asking this question as part of an off the subject of buying a car.

As someone who teaches on the subject of apologetics and worldview, this problem cannot be answered by any worldview outside the Christian worldview.  The pantheistic religions say that evil does not exist or that it is maya (non existent). The atheistic worldview finds it a problem that we all have to reconcile in ourselves, or blame someone, and for those who are its victims, one just needs to tough it out.

Only the Christian worldview has three approaches to answering to the problem of evil, and this what I would like to address in this posting.  I have written on this subject in the past, so some of this might sound a little familiar.  While we have storms (natural evil) and sickness, illness and disease, this posting will address the third kind of evil.  This is the problem of moral evil.

What are those approaches?