How to do Apologetics, an Outline

by Ryan Turner

The following is an outline of a presentation that I delivered at a conference entitled "How To Be An Effective Apologist Right Where You Are" or "How to Integrate Apologetics into Your Personal Ministry."

  1. The Foundations and Tools for Effective Apologetics
    1. Salvation and Spiritual Maturity
      1. Salvation
        1. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Ephesians 2:8-9
      2. Spiritual Maturity
        1. Spiritual disciplines: studying the Word (2 Tim. 2:15), worship, prayer, etc.
          1. Memorize Scripture!
        2. Fruit of the Spirit: love, patience, and gentleness (Gal. 5:22-23).
      3. Recommended Resources
        1. The Bible
    2. Critical Thinking
      1. The Foundational Tool (Mt. 22:37)
        1. How you think will effect how you do theology, evangelize, do apologetics, etc.
          1. Philosophy: the great synthesizer of all major disciplines.
          2. Philosophy: the handmaiden of theology.
        2. Understand Christianity as a worldview.
        3. Formal debates exhibit the importance of critical thinking.
      2. Advice
        1. Learn the basic logical fallacies.
        2. Take a class on logic.
        3. Buy a good logic and/or critical thinking book.
      3. Resources
        1. Come Let us Reason by Norman Geisler, et. al.
        2. Introduction to Philosophy by Geisler and Feinburg.
        3. CARM Critical Thinking School and Manual.
        4. website.
    3. Sound Theology
      1. The Importance of Theology
        1. You need to know what faith you are defending before you start defending the faith.
      2. The foundational doctrines:
        1. Bibliology - Is the Bible authoritative and inspired?
        2. Theology - Who is God?
        3. Christology - Who is Jesus?
        4. Anthropology - What is the nature of man?
        5. Soteriology - How is man saved?
      3. Advice
        1. Study the Bible seriously: write in your Bible, write your own Bible commentary, write your own systematic theology, write your own questions journal, etc.
        2. Talk with Christians who are more knowledgeable than you.
        3. Purchase a really good systematic theology book.
        4. Talk with cultists.
        5. Talk with unbelievers.
      4. Resources
      5. Theology
        1. Bible
        3. Norman Geisler’s  Systematic Theology (4 Volumes)
        4. Wayne Grudem’s  Systematic Theology (1 Volume)
        5. CARM Theology School
        6. Website, Discussion Forums, and Chat Rooms
      6. Bible Survey
        1. A Popular Survey of the Old Testament by Norman Geisler
        2. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction by Gleason Archer (more advanced)
        3. An Introduction to the New Testament by D.A. Carson, et. al.
        4. New Testament Introduction by Donald Guthrie (more advanced but worth it!)
    4. Apologetics
      1. Apologist  (Salvation + Critical Thinking + Theology = Apologetics)
      2. Resources
        1. Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig
        2. Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler
        3. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler
        4. CARM Apologetics School
  2. How and Where You Can Use Apologetics
    1. Your Family
      1. The Importance of the Family
      2. The Parent’s Role in the Family
        1. Lead devotions.
        2. Talk with your kids about God.
        3. Make sure your children receive an excellent education.
        4. Public vs. private vs. homeschooling.
    2. Your Church
      1. The Importance of the Church
      2. The Pastors
        1. Reinforce the role of the family.
        2. Teach and preach apologetical sermons.
        3. Systematic theology and current issues.
        4. Have a resource list for further study.
        5. Have well-equipped leaders: (elders, small group leaders, ministry team leaders, etc.).
        6. Have conferences.
        7. See that your congregation gets discipled.
      3. The Lay People
        1. Encourage the leadership of the Church.
        2. Teach Sunday school classes or Bible studies.
          1. Go through Lee Strobel’s books (The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, etc.).
        3. Go through CARM’s Theology School.
        4. Disciple and equip others (especially the youth) and get discipled and equipped yourself.
    3. Your School and University
      1. The Importance of Education
        1. Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.
        2. Colleges and Universities.
      2. Suggestions
        1. Become a professor or teacher.
        2. Get involved with student ministries: speakers, Bible studies, evangelism, etc.
    4. Your Job
      1. The Importance of the Workplace.
      2. Suggestions
        1. Have a Bible study.
        2. Have a Spiritual discussion group.
        3. Have a book study group.