Sometimes, when I do seminars, after I introduce myself I give a very brief history of what got me started in apologetics and what keeps me going. Usually, those who are there are there to learn about Christian doctrine; evangelism; witnessing to Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, or other cult groups; or are simply there to ask questions on different subjects. Invariably, I introduce the term 'apologetics' to the group and define it as "that field of Christian study that defends biblical truth against anything that opposes it." Also, I state that apologetics is as varied as people and subjects and that no one can master all areas. As God calls people into study, they will become proficient in what interests them according to the gifts and interests that have been entrusted to them by Him.
But one of my concerns when doing seminars is what I call "The Speaker Effect." Basically, when a group gathers to hear a speaker, it is assumed that the speaker knows his material and is very experienced in the subject. Given the fact that public speaking is America's number one phobia, the mere fact that a person can get up there and speak for an hour on a subject (and enjoy doing it) has a psychological effect of distancing the learner from the teacher. The speaker is often elevated to the status of "A Special Teacher Called of God." Actually, in my case, the speaker is just someone who likes to blab about what he knows. I'm no different than anyone else, and that is important. People need to realize that they are called by God to study and show themselves approved (2 Tim. 2:15). Furthermore, this "effect" tends to make people think that they can't be good apologists since they aren't up there speaking. This is not true, and I always try to motivate people to study and master those areas that the Lord calls them to study.
Apologetics is the attempt to make a defense for the Christian faith. If you do that in any way, then you are an apologist. In fact, you are commanded to be an apologist by Peter:
"But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence," (1 Pet. 3:15).
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