I have been involved in apologetics almost as long as I have had an adult faith. Apologetics is simply providing reasons for belief. Since I came out of a number of years as an atheist, it was natural for me to become an apologist. I was actually doing apologetics before I had ever heard the word.
In my approximately twenty-five years, there have been a number of experiences that have been particularly encouraging. Here is my top five.
- I spent about nine years as the pastor of Woodford and First Baptist Church Meaford. I had planned on doing an apologetics presentation one Saturday morning. Unfortunately there was a blizzard that day. I showed up to the church in case one or two people came out so I could tell them it was cancelled. Instead, seventy-five people arrived and the presentation went on as originally planned.
- While pastoring in Meaford, I encountered the teaching of a religion writer named Tom Harpur, who claimed that Jesus never existed and that he was based on pagan myths. I had the opportunity to co-author a book with Stan Porter that responded to those claims. The book, Unmasking the Pagan Christ, was published, won an award and was even made into a documentary.
- One day I was sitting in my office in Meaford and a couple that I didn’t recognize showed up at the church. The man told me that he had been a lay pastor but after reading Tom Harpur’s book, he was close to giving up his faith. Then he read our book and felt his faith being strengthened. He read our book while on vacation and he was vacationing in Meaford! He stopped by the church to thank me.
- I have been active in apologetics blogging for about ten years. Most online debates don’t go anywhere. However, I was talking with an ex-Christian who had given up on the faith because of some disturbing Bible passages. I was able to provide context for the passage and the person agreed that they needed to rethink their decision to give up on Christianity.
- I have had the opportunity to speak on apologetics in a number of contexts. A number of years ago, I spoke at an Apologetics Canada conference on two different subjects. It was a great experience.