Thanks, Missouri Baptists, for defending the Christian faith this year through the MBC’s apologetics ministry. A few metrics in the paragraphs below illustrate the degree to which you have sought to fulfill Peter’s exhortation to “always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you … with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15-16).
In 2015 the MBC released two timely new resources: What Every Christian Should Know about Islam and What Every Christian Should Know about Same-sex Attraction.
These two books have been widely distributed across the state and are still available for personal or group study in 2016. Order print copies at mobaptist.org/apologetics or by calling 800.736.6227, ext. 303. Or visit Amazon.com and order the Kindle editions.
Also this year, we launched the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network, a group of MBC-approved Christian apologists who equip others to defend the faith by speaking and providing resources that enable Missouri Baptists to become bolder and more effective in sharing Christ with others.
As of this writing, eight Missouri Baptist apologists have joined the network: Ed Croteau, Lees Summit; Eugene Curry, Kansas City; Jonathan Hanna, Washington; Dennis Jackson, Greenwood; Julie Loos, Ballwin; Jim Schurke, Springfield; John Vernon, Cape Girardeau; and Bill Victor, Columbia.
Go online to mobaptist.org/apologetics and click on the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network link to learn more about these leaders and to schedule them to speak in your church. They are great personal resources for your congregation.
2015 was the busiest year so far for churches and associations sponsoring apologetics conferences or incorporating apologetics into their training events.
Since January, I have had the privilege of speaking more than 80 times at 39 events hosted by churches, associations, or the MBC, on a dozen different topics relating to apologetics.
Events included the State Evangelism Conference, WMU Missions Celebration, associational training conferences, leadership training with MBC partners in Mexico, and dozens of one and two-day apologetics conferences at MBC churches.
Now is a good time for your church or association to schedule an apologetics event in 2016. Learn more about available dates, topics, and formats at mobaptist.org/apologetics.
Coming in 2016
Finally, we are putting the finishing touches on a new resource scheduled for early 2016: The Apologist’s Tool Kit 3rd Edition.
This updated and expanded tool kit features nearly 70 lessons on topics including the existence of God, the reliability of Scripture, the biblical Jesus, false religions and cults, the prosperity gospel, the afterlife, and more.
Each chapter offers talking points to make it easier to share your faith with unbelieving friends; questions for personal or group study; and recommended resources for further reading. This is our most comprehensive tool kit to date.
Keep an eye on The Pathway, mbConnect (the MBC’s weekly e-newsletter), social media and mobaptist.org/apologetics for information about the release of this new resource.
All Christians are apologists
It’s important to understand that the Bible considers all Christians to be apologists. That doesn’t mean apologizing for the Christian faith; it means to offer a reasonable defense (Greek apologia) of the core doctrines of Christianity.
I am grateful to the Lord for the privilege of working with Missouri Baptists to help us improve our AQ – apologetics quotient.
Blessings to you, your family, and your church this Christmas. I look forward to serving you in 2016.