I have not been blogging much lately because I am at Acadia Divinity College, taking my last two courses for my Doctor of Ministry degree. The course I just finished was “A Theology for Holistic Mission and Ministry” taught by Ronald Sider. This was a great course that reinforced the idea of the church being involved in both evangelism and social action, and not feeling the need to choose one or the other. This course fit very well with my interest in apologetics.
How would a course that talks about social justice fit with apologetics? Well, Ron Sider has some very strong apologetic aspects to his life and ministry. One of the influential people in his life during his time at university was John Warwick Montgomery. Ron even strongly considered becoming an apologist. That apologetics is still important to him was seen in that the first lecture was not on feeding the hungry or stopping human trafficking but in looking at the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.
“Wholistic apologetics would fit well with wholistic revivals. Earlier I talked about the problem of Western secularism, which pervades the intellectual world—especially our universities, which are overwhelmingly non-Christian. Enlightenment secularism is one reason for the loss of faith among educated people, but another crucial reason is Christian failure. We have not lived what we preached. In disgust, many intellectuals have turned away from our hypocritical Christianity.” (p. 191)
People are frantically trying to find a worldview that makes sense of the world. As Ron points out, “Full-orbed biblical Christianity is what they need. And the best way to help them to see that is by wholistic discipleship and wholistic apologetics.” (p. 192) We need to continue to point out evidence for the existence of God and demonstrate the historical credibility of the resurrection. But those of us interested in apologetics should also seek to demonstrate the truth of Christianity by making a difference in the world around us.