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Do Apologetics Matter Anymore?

Do Apologetics Matter Anymore?


By Sean McDowell


            I would be a rich man if I had a dollar for every time I heard or read an emerging leader say something like: "Apologetics don't matter anymore in our postmodern world," "Young people no longer need evidence; it's about relationships." Are these claims true? Have we moved into a new era in which apologetics are no longer needed? From my perspective, nothing could be further from the truth.


            This past weekend I spoke at the Big Dig youth apologetics conference by Focus on the Family (www.family.org/bigdigevents) to over 2,200 youth. Speakers included Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, Ryan Dobson, Mark Mittelberg, and Alex McFarland.  I was blown away at how engaged, interested, and attentive the students were. Many of them took notes and hung around book tables to ask questions. There is clearly a movement of young people who desire to know not only what they believe by why. They want to dig deeper.


            One student emailed me with the following thoughts after I gave a talk based on my new book Understanding Intelligent Design: "So I was at the Big Dig this past weekend and absolutely loved it! All the information was so helpful but I connected the most with yours. All the scientific proof of Christianity and a Creator just absolutely amazes me…I'm really excited to get started looking at many of the worlds "truths" and find why our truth is the only one!"


            Throughout the weekend I asked students if they chose to come or if their parents dragged them to the conference. EVERY student I talked to said that it was his or her decision to attend. In fact, one young man was even willing to miss a high school soccer game to be there!


            Don't believe the claim that apologetics no longer matter for new generations. Let me state it clearly: Apologetics matter more than ever for this generation, especially since youth today are exposed to more non-Christian ideas than any generation in history. And apologetics are not only important for Christians-they matter in evangelism, too. But this does not mean we simply continue business as usual. We need to really re-think how we engage younger generations with an apologetic that meets their thinking patterns and emotional needs.


To help reach newer generations, I'm editing a new book entitled Apologetics for a New Generation (Harvest House, 2009). I've put together an amazing list of contributors-Lee Strobel, Dan Kimball, John Mark Reynolds, and more-so we can effectively engage younger generations. The time is now. Let's go for it!