Have we focussed too much on apologetics?

I see a lot of apologetics videos on YouTube, defending Christianity against progressive Christians or atheists etc. By focussing on this kind of content, I think we might be missing something important.

I decided to try another video post because it seemed to work quite well last time. I’m beginning to find it more natural to express my thoughts in video format these days – but I do apologise for those of you who prefer a written format!

In this video I wonder whether a lot of Christian channels focus so much on engaging with criticisms of Christianity that we’ve overlooked something important: we need to spend more time simply teaching the Christian faith.

These are the basic points:

  1. Apologetics content lets the people you’re defending the faith against set the agenda;
  2. Most ordinary people aren’t asking those kind of questions – it’s easy on social media to get the view that everybody feels a certain way when it’s only a handful of very vocal activists;
  3. The best apologetic is teaching a Christian worldview.

I think we should focus more on catechising, and I wrote a bit about this in my post here: The Lost Art of Catechism.


2 responses to “Have we focussed too much on apologetics?”

  1. Chris E avatar

    It has long been clear to me that apologetics primary function is edutainment for people in the pews as opposed to evangelicalism to those outside.

    Ignoring the somewhat suspect notion of ‘normal people’ for a moment, it doesn’t really map to the way in which most people come to assenting to a particular belief. At best it momentarily calms the doubts of Christians and is one step in a journey for those who are already being evangelised to, at worst it just feeds notions of pride and supremacy.

    If we considered these ministries in that light we may be more inclined to examine them a little more closely, and ignore the dire warnings that to do so could ruin the faith of thousands.

    1. Hi Chris

      ‘Edutainment’ – I like that. I think there are people who have come to Christ after going to an apologetics talk – maybe at universities – but I don’t know how many there would be apart from students. That’s what I meant with ‘ordinary people’. Some people at universities like an academic debate about whether God exists and problems in the Bible. But most of the people I meet around here don’t care about any of that stuff. Most of them believe in God but are quite apathetic about Christianity. So apologetics doesn’t reach them at all.

      I think there is a place for apologetics, but perhaps it’s not surprising that if the church focusses on it rather than on teaching the faith and building the body of Christ, we have little impact. I think some people know more about apologetics than they know about doctrine.

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