Looking Back on Christian Apologetics
I’ve been working in the field of Christian apologetics for more than 30 years; and I’m currently in my nineteenth year with Reasons to Believe. As RTB celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year, it seems a good time to look back at how Christian apologetics in general and RTB specifically have changed in that time.
CHANGE IN APOLOGETICS
In the field of apologetics, the basic question that people ask about the Christian faith has changed. When I was first engaged in apologetics in the early 1980s, people focused on asking, Is Christianity true? Thus, apologists responded with explanations and evidences for the historicity of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and especially his resurrection.
However, over the last several years that basic question seems to have changed. While people do still inquire about the faith’s truthfulness, the question more often asked today is, Is Christianity good? So, now apologists must often address controversies in the church’s history and clarify the great good Christianity has produced in human rights, science, education, law, and the arts.
Fortunately, there is strong evidence suggesting that Christianity is both true and a benevolent force in the world.
CHANGE IN RTB
I have also seen changes at RTB since I came on board back in 1997. Let me briefly note what I think are two of the biggest.
First, before I came to RTB Hugh Ross was the only scholar. Today, the full-time scholar team has increased to five people. Dr. Anjeanette “AJ” Roberts will be the latest to join the ranks this year. The growth of the scholar team has allowed us to produce an impressive number of books, articles, podcasts, videos, and live events, providing a much greater breadth of apologetics knowledge for the defense of the faith—especially in science.
Second, when I first came to RTB, our team was cramped inside of a strip mall shared with other companies. Today, our new building offers enough space to include a state-of-the-art recording studio as well as a classroom and conference hall and enough offices for RTB’s growing staff. I’ve jokingly called the new building our “New Jerusalem.”
As the field of apologetics shifts, the growth in RTB’s staff and building space helps us to prepare to meet the great faith challenges of the day—and tomorrow. We look forward to the challenges and triumphs the next 30 years of ministry will bring.