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A Calvin Research Group Academic Resource, Module 10A2

The Preparation to Become An Apologist
Dr. Johnson C. Philip & Dr. Saneesh Cherian
Revised by David R. Delgado

As we begin the twenty-first century, attacks directed against the Christian Faith
are growing at an exponential rate, and no Christian remains unaffected. By now,
every professing Christian has experienced some sort of opposition, whether in
school, at home, or at the office. Friends, relatives, or colleagues have asked
pointed questions that, in effect, attack the Christian’s faith. The options are
always clear: either give us a satisfactory answer, or quit talking about your faith
around us.

Anti-Christian sentiments have become so widespread that books attacking the
Bible become instant best-sellers in any language and in any country. T V
programs routinely attack Christians and present them in a highly distorted,
demeaning, and often slanderous manner. Numerous magazines and technical
journals are devoted to opposing the Bible, and several large publishing houses
regularly put out books meant to destroy, cripple, or belittle the Christian faith.
Numerous anti-Christian ideas permeate society, and questions hostile to the
Christian faith are fired repeatedly at Christians individually or collectively. Ideas
have consequences, and this is why practicing apologetics has become an
unavoidable and necessary activity for Christians.

The response from the Christian community takes many forms. Some jump into
the fray without any preparation whatsoever, and some remain silent in the face of
attacks. Fortunately, there are others who believe a proper defense of the faith
requires serious preparation.

Those in the first group feel that anyone can be an apologist. They ignore the need
for preparation, go to war against powerful enemies of Christianity, and are
humiliated by their opponents. Even with truth on his side, the unprepared
defender is made a laughingstock in front of others only because his opponent is
better prepared to influence the audience. Instead of defending the faith, these
people only invite shame.

The second group feels that Christians should keep silent even in the face of
increasingly frequent attacks against the faith. Some of these people do not
understand the issues, and they continue to live in a fool's paradise. Others are
escapists and do not wish to get involved. Still others do not know what to do, and
so they remain silent. Though this group is made up of inactive people who never
respond to challenges against the faith, they are still somewhat better than the
first group. In the long run, those who rush in without preparation cause
embarrassment, whereas the silence of the second group doesn’t actively challenge
belief. Unfortunately, it still allows the church to lose many young believers to
unbelief.

Thankfully, there is a third group that rises to the task. This third group is made up
of people who are prepared for Christian apologetics. They know that the
well-prepared opposition is causing much damage in the Christian community,
especially among the young people. They know that someone needs to stand as
the bulwark in the Christian community, and that this is possible only with
adequate preparation. It is, thank God, these people who silence the critics, answer
sincere inquirers, and help the doubting Thomases of the world. Following the
model of Christ, they are willing and ready to offer evidence to anyone who asks
for it.

Almost every sincere Christian can practice apologetics if he has adequate

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preparation. As in any other field, it is not necessary for every practitioner to
become a specialist. A good analogy can be drawn from the field of medicine. Most
people who go to a hospital suffer only from common ailments, and they need only
a General Medical Practitioner for help. Twenty percent or fewer need a specialist.
Among those only a small percentage need the help of a super-specialist. Similarly,
the average well-informed Christian can handle the bulk of the questions faced in
everyday life, and only twenty percent of the questions will need the help of people
who have specialized apologetics training.

So how does one prepare himself to become an effective defender of Christianity?
Several types of preparation are necessary.

Spiritual Preparation: Since Christian apologetics aims to defend the Christian
faith, the apologist should obviously be a born-again Christian of good spiritual
commitment and standing. If his faith is worth fighting for, then he himself should
be fully committed to it. Without this level of commitment, he is getting into a
battle by proxy. He is trying to lay down his life for something he is not convinced
about in the first place. That will not work.

Spiritual commitment is not a one-time or once-for-all event, but an ongoing
process in which one examines himself every day and affirms his commitment on a
regular basis. This demands a life where daily devotion, study, reflection, and
resolution are all geared to continuous spiritual growth. Yet for the spirit-filled
student, this will likely be a pleasurable endeavor rather than an arduous task.

But He answered and said, "It is written, 'man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4)

The spirit-filled student will be nourished by study of the Word. It is food for the
spirit. In the same way we must feed our bodies, our spirits must also be fed. If
the main course is the Word of God, fellowship is our dessert. We depend on God,
but we also depend on each other in the body of Christ.

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
(1Corinthians 12:7)

No apologist can grow in a spiritual vacuum, nor can anyone sustain his spiritual IQ
by depending upon himself alone. He should make it a practice to read works by
the spiritual giants both of his era and the past. This will put him in touch with the
greatest spiritual minds of all time, accelerating his own spiritual growth and
understanding as he imbibes God’s illumination as experienced by others of his
kind.

There are two important components to such reading and meditation. The first part
is a regular, disciplined, and time-bound devotion and study. The best possible
time of the day should be allocated for this. One should not miss this appointment,
except in case of emergencies and unavoidable engagements. As the apologist
keeps the appointment without fail, his body and mind gradually adapt to it in such
a way that he begins to get maximum benefit from it. His whole system gets tuned
to that event at that time, his concentration and perception are enhanced, and he
begins to enjoy his spiritual feast and exercise.

While a regular, time-bound, devotion and study of Scripture is the essential first
step of preparation, conscious reflection during free time throughout the day is the
second part. The apologist should make frequent reflection an essential part of his
daily life. Initially he might need to make a conscious effort, but gradually his
whole being will be tuned in such a way that his mind automatically returns to it as

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soon as he is free. Spiritual reflection becomes integrated with his regular thought
process.

The Word of God repeatedly emphasizes the need for reflection on a regular basis.

"This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall
meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to
all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then
you will have success. (Joshua 1:8)

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and
night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields
its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does,
he prospers. (Psalms 1:2-3)

Along with one's spiritual life and growth, the apologist should also take great care
of his theology. If a man is sloppy with his diet, his physical body may end up
suffering. If a man is sloppy with his theology, his spirit will end up suffering.

While meditation and reflection are usually informal, theology is a much more
formal and systematized presentation of doctrinal information found throughout
the Bible. God has His own perfect purpose in scattering information about key
doctrines throughout the Scripture, and we should not question the way He
operates. Rather, Christians, especially apologists, need to carefully integrate this
information.

The challenge comes when such information on a given subject is collected,
collated, and interpreted. One can make mistakes. A key verse might be ignored. A
key turning-point might not be noticed. The real thrust of a passage might be
overlooked. This is why the systematization of theology has taken two millennia
from the completion of the Canon.

Systematization and deduction is a long process, where one fine-tunes the
deductions and inductions in each round of interpretation. However, in the hurry
that most people are in, they sometimes overlook the discipline needed and come
to theological conclusions which are not entirely correct. Since the entire
theological edifice of the Bible is one whole and tight-fitting integrated unit, an
error in one place results in error in other places, without exception. The apologist
should take care to spot and avoid errors because once there is error in one's
thinking or perception at the theological level, one can not be a successful
apologist, for nothing substantial is left to defend when the foundation is missing or
crooked. This is why the aspiring Christian apologist should become highly literate
or well-read in theology.

History has shown repeatedly that people ignorant of history are condemned to
repeat the avoidable errors of history. The same is true of theology. Those who are
not exposed to the ongoing stream of orthodox theological discussion, and those
who do not care to study the erroneous views and interpretations in the theology
of others often end up favoring interpretations and ideas that ultimately lead them
into errors that have long ago been condemned by orthodoxy. [We must hasten to
add here that in theological circles the word "orthodoxy" represents commitment to
the fundamentals of the Christian faith, and hence is a positive word. This needs to
be pointed out here because the word has other shades of meaning too, including
pejorative uses].

Within theology, the Christian apologist must be firmly committed to the four
Cardinal Doctrines which are:

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Sola Scriptura: The Bible alone is the Holy Spirit inspired divine revelation, and
The Bible alone is the final word in all matters of doctrine and practice.

Sola Fide: Faith alone is the means of obtaining justification, and human merit or
work plays no role in it.

Sola Gratia: Grace alone is the means of salvation, and works play no role in it.

Sola Christus: Christ alone is the Savior, and there is no other mediator between
God and man.

Any wavering on these Cardinal Doctrines will result in the weakening of other
doctrines and eventual compromise. For example those who waver on Sola
Scriptura are quick to denounce the six-day fiat creation. From there they
degenerate to theistic evolution and the eventual abandonment of the entire
special-creation and Edenic sin framework. Nothing much is left for defense or
apologetics at this stage, and this has been demonstrated through
the degeneration and fall of many Christian apologists who compromised on the
Cardinal Doctrines.

Battles are won only by armies that are prepared to fight. The same is the situation
with Christian apologetics. Every aspiring Christian apologist should nurture his
spiritual life and theology on a daily basis all his life.

Some Practical Tips: Things done randomly might yield noticeable results
initially, but the end will be chaotic. Witness a large house that results from
random modifications and ad hoc constructions over a few decades. The house
would surely be very large, but this patchwork would also be chaotic, to say the
least. Much money, resources, and space would have been consumed, but the
end-result would not be pleasing. It is the same with spiritual and theological
self-enrichment. A spiritual life and vision developed randomly and in an ad hoc
manner might eventually seem great, but that is only because it is inflated and
bloated. There is nothing substantial inside, and it lacks foundation. It would fall
down at the most unexpected moment, the way an unplanned house crumbles in
an earthquake.

To avoid the pitfalls of randomness, the apologist should follow a systematic plan of
devotion and Bible study. Any plan that suits him and that he is able to follow for a
long period of time will be okay. Many lists are available to help a person read the
entire Bible in very convenient daily segments. Devotion-related guides are
available, and some of them are of very high spiritual quality.

Is the Holy Spirit leading you into apologetics? If so, then get a plan. Which of
these you choose is not all that important. What's essential is that once you choose
a good plan you must stick with it long enough for it to become an integral part of
your life.

Reading good expository magazines and books, listening to audio, etc. will also
nourish your spirit. As you continue studying in this manner, the Word of God will
open up to you as never before. You will begin enjoying the Scripture in unusual
ways and will find ideas and inspiration jumping out at you as you read familiar
passages.

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are
foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are
spiritually appraised. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

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Read some of the more well-written and orthodox systematic theologies, as well as
the classics that keep appearing on narrower topics in theology. For example, read

* William Fitch's God and Evil – This tackles the question of how evil can exist
in a world controlled by a benevolent God who is also all-powerful and why
He does not eliminate evil altogether.
* The Universe Next Door by James W. Sire
* Is Jesus the only Saviour? by Ronald Nash
* The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis.

The larger volumes will give you a comprehensive framework whereas the smaller
and more focused works will give you a clearer understanding of special issues in
theology.

Reading some of the more conservative theological journals will keep you updated
on many important issues in theology, and this will keep you ready to answer
various perplexing questions. Many of these journals are available on the web for
free download, costing you little. There are also many theology websites that
discuss every possible theological question. Keep yourself updated on a regular
basis.

Mental Preparation: Christian apologetics is basically a battle of ideas in which
wrong ideas and philosophies are refuted and the right set of ideas is propounded
and defended. Since the human mind is the seat of ideas, apologetics requires
interaction at the mental level.

While all humans use their minds, not all use them fully or for entirely constructive
activities. The fall in Eden has corrupted the human mind to such an extent that
rising up beyond this depravity to think in a wholesome manner is difficult for the
unregenerate man. Even regenerate people are not immediately transformed into
the state of innocence. What is more, in every generation there are vast numbers
of people devising methods, arguments, and philosophies intended to confuse,
persuade, or lead people astray. Thus for the truth-loving child of God, every day
brings new frontiers of mental fight.

The problem with mental fight is that it is invisible and not material. For this
reason, people on the defense side (victims) take it lightly. Even Christians on the
offense usually do not give it the attention or seriousness it ought to receive. What
cannot be seen with the eyes often deceives us into thinking that it does not exist
or that it cannot exert a substantial influence. This is why ideas that underlie
deviant movements are often ignored or underestimated.

Scripture repeatedly stresses the role played by the human mind in spiritual life
and in spiritual battle.

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.
(Proverbs 4:23)

In today's health-conscious world large numbers of people invest heavily in health
and fitness equipment because changes to one's health for the worse are
immediately visible, and they wish to arrest and counter them. But changes at the
mental level are not that obvious to the average person, and the impact of such
changes is often seriously underestimated. This is one reason why the Scriptures
place such a heavy emphasis on guarding the mind.

So important does God consider the mind that the Scriptures use the word
mind/minds at least 111 times, the word thought/thoughts 139 times, the word
think/thinks 82 times, and the word heart/hearts close to 1000 times. Many more

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mind-related words are used, but the above statistics are sufficient to impress any
thinking Christian with the importance of the human mind. Christians place much
importance on subjects that are not mentioned even one-tenth this number of
times. That being so, how much more importance ought we to give to the mind.

The Preparation to Become an Apologist

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your
minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
(2 Corinthians 11:3)

Obviously, the human mind is the most essential human component of the system
used in fighting Satan. The same idea is emphasized by the Scripture in Ephesians.

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just
as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their
understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is
in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become
callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every
kind of impurity with greediness. [emphasis added] (Ephesians 4:17-19)

The human mind needs to be channeled in the right direction -- even in the lives of
the greatest believers and apologists. Else it will go astray and fall into the deepest
sin and rebellion as witnessed in the life of Solomon, the most intelligent human
and the wisest believer the world has ever seen.

The Christian apologist should always remember that this is a battle at the mental
level. If he prepares himself at this level, he will be able to fight. If he neglects
preparation in this area he is poised for failure in his professional life and disaster
in his personal life.

The Christian apologist should therefore take great care of his mental life. He
should keep in touch with the best conservative minds of the present and past,
through personal interaction as well as through reading. He should read books that
can challenge and inspire, as well as ones that can answer his own personal
doubts.

There is a misunderstanding among most Christian apologists that they are
immune to doubts, and that they shall never face doubts themselves. This false
belief can greatly handicap and even spiritually kill them. Most people who see
doctors and medical personnel erroneously think that these people never fall sick.
Actually nobody can indiscriminately work in the medical field, and medical workers
are always under above-average threat of catching infections because they are
closer to germs and viruses than the average person. The secret of their health is
not all-round immunity, but "all-round precaution". They take all the essential
vaccinations on time, they do not forget to take the booster dosages, they wash
their hands after touching people with contagious diseases, and they use gloves
and masks when necessary. What's more, they also take good care of their health
so that their resistance to infections remains at its peak. The moment they fail to
do this, they fall victim to every possible infection. The same is the situation with
the Christian apologist and his faith.

The Christian apologist should take care of his mind in the same way. He should
continuously be reading the best apologetics books, magazines, and journals. He
should continuously be exploring the techniques used by the enemy. Above all, he
should continuously keep himself at the peak of mental health so that nothing

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quickly overwhelms his defenses.

He must continuously monitor his spiritual commitment and persistence. Any
reduction in these should immediately be corrected by reading the best apologetic
works and by interacting with zealous apologists. One's spiritual life should also be
overhauled and 'refitted' when necessary. Intense apologetic involvement and
battles should be avoided while one is in a weak and susceptible condition.

Practical Preparation: Christian apologetics definitely has a theoretical side, but
theoretical studies become useful and successful only when used in the practical
arena. This requires rigorous practical preparation. Just as learning the principles of
swimming in a classroom does not make one a swimmer, mere exposure to the
theoretical aspects of Christian apologetics will not make one a capable apologist.

Oral and written communication are the vehicles of apologetics. While all of us
speak and write, not all of us do so effectively either in personal life or in formal
situations. Witness the number of people who frequently run into trouble due to
their speech. Thus the apologist should continually sharpen his skills of oral and
written communication. He should make it a habit to frequently read books and
articles on communication, delivery of speech, and print-media communication.
Tons of free material is available on the net, if one is not able to afford books.

The apologist is depriving himself if he restricts all his communication to the oral
realm. He needs to write frequently (even if these are not meant for publication),
because practicing one’s expression in writing makes his communication more
precise. While all of us speak a lot, most of us would be shocked if a transcript of
our speech were given to us. We would quickly discover that we did not say what
we thought we did, and it did not go the way we thought it did. Important words
(though they did come to our mind) would be missing, essential phrases would not
be there, and often the presumed link between our statements would be missing.

Reducing our ideas, arguments, and apologetic presentations to writing helps us to
analyze the content as well as the way it is presented. It helps us to spot our weak
points, and it goes a long way toward improving our communication skills. Our
communication will be more clear and precise, and people will be able to hear what
we want them to hear rather that what we merely thought they heard.

Though the primary purpose of the personal writing exercise is to develop accurate
and concise expression, the apologist who manages to get published will only add
to his preparedness. First, being published refines his ability to communicate.
Feedback from his readers helps him to discover his own weak spots. Feedback
also informs him of current areas of discussion and debate related to the Christian
faith. Second, a published writer gradually develops popularity and authority
though his work, and emerges as an expert in his field of writing. This in turn
makes him more popular and welcome among his potential listeners.

The apologist should also keep his eyes open to developments in society that
support the Christian faith, as well as new challenges to the Christian faith. For
example newspapers and magazines worldwide carry news, articles, and stories
from time to time that question the Christian faith directly or indirectly. The
apologist should be the first one to read them, analyze them, and formulate an
objective answer (even if he would never have to face that question). Since no
apologist can read all the available periodicals, he should develop a circle of friends
who would alert him about such writings.

Ideas have consequences, and more so with anti-Christian ideas because the whole
world is in rebellion against God from the Edenic fall onwards. Many young

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Christians read such articles eagerly and end up puzzled about the reliability of the
Christian faith. Given the right atmosphere, they may present these doubts to the
sympathetic apologist. If they fail to do so, the perceptive apologist should make it
a point to elicit such questions from their young listeners. Of course, a clear and
satisfactory answer can be given only if the Christian apologist understands the
nature of attack in a given article or story and thinks through the answer
beforehand.

A good example is a survey which an Indian magazine carried out a few years ago.
It claimed that one-third of all Indian men had one or more extra-marital liaisons.
It then went on to claim that permissiveness is the norm and that people who
advocate a conservative lifestyle are a minority in India. So persuasive was this
article that numerous other Indian magazines quoted it, and the slogan "Morality is
Dead" became the talk of the day among urban Indians. Everywhere that I went to
speak in camps, conferences and seminars people had this to ask: Is morality dead
in India, and are we abnormal because of our conservative outlook about the
sanctity of sex.

Christian apologetics goes far beyond the scientific or historical accuracy of the
Bible. When the Scripture in I Peter 3:15 says "Be ye ready always to give an
answer to every man who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you" we should
realize that the hope that is in us touches every aspect of our Christian life,
including the Biblical principles of sexual purity. Consequently I felt a need to
address the subject in an objective manner, and searched everywhere until I was
able to get the original article from which they all were quoting. It turned out to be
a big surprise.

The magazine that conducted the survey was a pornographic one. Out of its
100,000 or so many readers, fewer than 2000 had (reportedly) participated, and
one-third of them had confessed that they were people of easy virtues. These few
facts alone totally negated the tall claims made by the magazine. First, the survey
was conducted among a group of lecherous people who read pornographic
magazines, and not among the typical urban Indian males. Second, even among
such an avowedly lecherous crowd, two-thirds of the males refused to have
extra-marital liaisons and were strictly monogamous. Clearly, the results of this
survey gave no indication that conservative morality was dead. On the contrary, it
only showed that even the Peeping Tom's of India maintain a conservative morality
in their family lives, a deduction totally opposite to what they were proclaiming.
Once I discovered this, it became easy to diffuse the bomb they were dropping all
around.

Every Christian apologist should prepare himself in a similar manner to face the
distortions of the media, whether it touches morality or canonicity.

Periodicals are not the only offenders against whom the apologist needs to defend.
Countless books come out every year, both fiction as well as non-fiction, that
directly or indirectly attack the Christian faith. One of the recurring themes is that
the Lord Jesus did not die on the cross but that He eventually came out of the
swoon or stupor, and fled to the more tolerant and hospitable India where He lived
up to the age of 130. They then pile up all kinds of "proofs" including the presumed
grave of Jesus in the Kashmir state of India. On the other extreme are books that
totally deny that Jesus was a historical person. In between them lies a whole range
of books that attack various aspects of the Christian faith either through fiction or
non-fiction.

Young Christians are often more fascinated by destructive books than by
wholesome ones. Even many older fence-sitting believers are fascinated by such
books and invest a fortune buying them. Unfortunately, once such books enter
Christian homes, many believers (including some very young ones) are enticed into

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reading them. Others are trapped when some rebellious soul passes such books to
unsuspecting people, claiming that they are "great" books. Ideas have
consequences, and such ideas can cause people to end up with various levels of
doubt. The Christian apologist should come to their rescue.

To prepare for this, the apologist should regularly read book-reviews and
book-summaries, which appear in newspapers, magazines, and journals. He should
also subscribe to book-review magazines which are now becoming common
worldwide. The Internet provides numerous book-review and book-summary
resources and most of them are free. Once he spots books that can create a
serious problem for his potential audience, he should look for everything he can
find to expose the fallacy propounded by that book. If he feels he needs to know
the book first-hand, he should read it critically and analytically as soon as possible.

There are a very large number of websites devoted to apologetics and polemics.
Some of them contain thousands of pages of resource material, and one can access
all of them free of cost. The Christian apologist should regularly visit these sites to
get an idea of the breadth of the field. He will never be able to read it all, but even
an exposure to the titles and summaries would be an education in itself. Once he is
acquainted with the wider field, he can pick and choose articles in areas of his
special interest as the Holy Spirit leads him. One would find articles on almost
every subject, popular to technical in depth and one page to hundreds of pages in
length. Downloading and printing these articles for personal use is allowed under
the "Fair Use" provision of the Copyright Laws. Doing so is often an option cheaper
than buying books. What's more, on larger apologetics websites one can frequently
get analytical articles on current issues well before they appear in the print media.

Many of the larger apologetics ministries offer email bulletins, some of which are
loaded with apologetic articles and late-breaking news of interest to the apologist.
It is essential and useful to subscribe to at least half a dozen selected ones. They
will keep the apologist updated with current information and will also save him the
labor of wading through countless sites to gather the same information himself.
Some of the bulletins offer materials of such lasting value that the websites archive
them and the interested apologist can easily download older issues. Many bulletins
are so rich with information that I print and file them to help me in my ongoing
ministry, and when you discover the bulletins useful to your ministry, you will also
do the same.

Discussion forums are a special feature of the Internet. In forums one can
participate in answering, discussing, or debating on any conceivable subject under
the sun. There are forums exclusively dedicated to apologetics, and there are
others where apologetics plays only a small part. Visit them as often as possible to
discover hot topics and some of the common problems people face. Read the
responses and you will discover much. Go to as many as possible, but resist the
temptation to post, unless it is a "moderated" forum. People can be unruly when
unmoderated, and often stoop down to name-calling if they are discredited. Worse,
if your identity is known to them, many of the radical and baser contributors will
launch a character-attack crusade against you, causing much loss to your mental
peace. Use the forums primarily to learn, and post only in moderated ones.

Make ongoing preparation a life-long passion. Keep sharpening and polishing your
armor, lest you be caught unawares and with a rusted armory.

Professional And Formal Preparation: Up to a few centuries ago one could
learn almost any profession or trade without formal training in a college or

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technical institution. However, each field of study has grown with such leaps and
bounds that no one can become an expert today in any field without some sort of
formal training.

True, even today some people learn traditional arts and crafts through
apprenticeship in an informal way, but such people would not be able to rise
beyond a certain level. For example, India has had native medical systems for
thousands of years. People often learn these systems in non-formal ways. But
when they get into medical practice, they are unable to interpret a blood, urine, or
stool test. X Rays, ECGs, EEGs, or CAT scans that provide diagnostic information
are totally alien to them. Consequently, their medical practice is always
handicapped, and they are in danger of messing up a person’s health due to lack of
proper training in diagnostics. The same is the situation in Christian apologetics.
Unless the apologist gets trained, he will not be able to diagnose problems
accurately nor in time.

People opposed to the Christian faith have been sharpening their arsenal in the last
two to three centuries. What's more, based upon research in the social sciences
people have been introducing new methods of attack against the Christian faith.
For example, formal Propaganda and Mind Manipulation Techniques were
developed in the early twentieth century, and they were harnessed by radicals in
the second half of the twentieth century. So advanced and sophisticated is their
arsenal today that only formal study can help the apologist to fight with efficiency.

Though Biblical apologetics is several millennia old, formal training in it became
available only in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Only a few institutions
offer such courses, and therefore the Christian apologist will have to do some
searching before he can find a course suitable for him.

There are three methods for getting formally trained today: through introductory
distance courses, through short-term classroom training, and through full-fledged
courses. Most people would find it useful to go through all three of these in this
order.

A search for apologetics courses and creationism courses on the Internet is the
best method for discovering introductory courses. Even a search of Biblical
Archeology courses will yield good results. Join these courses and study them
formally. Even if they allow you to cover the course through self-study, prefer the
formal approach. No amount of self-study can be as good as an instructor-guided
study. Do not restrict yourself to just one or two courses or institutions. Join a
variety of courses, and do not worry about repetition. You can never study
apologetics too much.

Meanwhile keep looking for camps, conferences, seminars, and short-term
residential courses in apologetics and creationism. You will soon realize that the
correspondence courses and the short-term residential courses greatly compliment
and reinforce each other. This is also the time to grapple with the more serious
books and articles in these subjects. Enjoy as much as you understand, but don’t
become discouraged by apparently difficult concepts. Greater understanding comes
with further study.

For your next step you can join a seminary known for apologetic emphasis, or
which offers full courses and specialization in Christian apologetics and creationism.
If it is impossible to join a residential course, then try a distance course. Aspire to
at least an MTh level course with emphasis on Christian apologetics.

Full-fledged courses in apologetics are not yet common, but a few seminaries do
offer such courses. There are at least two or three seminaries offering courses
worldwide through distance education. Keep searching, and you will discover one

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that's suitable for you.

Summary: Christian life is a battle, and more so for the Christian apologist. To
fight the good fight requires a great deal of preparation.

The aspiring apologist must first be a born again Christian—led by the Holy Spirit
and hungry for the Word of God. He must nourish his spirit by reading God’s Word
and through fellowship within the body of Christ. He must prepare his mind to
meet the already well-prepared minds of his opponents, and this requires an
enormous amount of study, practice, and organization of thought. To communicate
effectively, he must sharpen his skills of oral and written communication. And to
further refine these skills, he should pursue a formal course of study in apologetics.

If the Holy Spirit has led you to apologetics, begin right now to develop the habits
and associations necessary for success. You did not begin this alone, and you
cannot finish it alone.

About The Authors
Dr. Johnson C. Philip is a Christian Apologist based in Ernakulam. He received
the degree of Th.D. in Apologetics in 1984 and Ph.D. in Physics (Quantum
Chromodynamics) in 1991. He was awarded the DSc in Alternative Medicines in
2003 and DNYS in 2004. So far he has authored more than 2500 popular articles
and research papers and more than 50 books in the fields of physics,
communication, apologetics, and theology. This includes many Indian "firsts" like a
Systematic Theology and a 4-volume Bible Encyclopaedia, both in the Malayalam
language.

He is a voting member of numerous professional societies including: Creation
Research Society, American Scientific Affiliation, The Society Of Christian
Philosophers, Indian Physics Association, etc. He is a founder and life member of
the Indian Association Of Physics Teachers.

Dr. Saneesh Cherian is a Christian communicator and theologian based in
Ernakulam, Kerala. He studied for his BTh and MDiv with Brethren Bible Institute,
DMin with IICM, and ThD with International School of Theology, India. He is the
author of numerous books and articles. He is also a co-author of many theology
textbooks including, Systematic Theology, 4-volume Bible Encyclopedia, Dictionary
of Theology, and Integrated Christian Apologetics, all in the Malayalam language.

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About The Authors
Dr. Johnson C. Philip is a Christian Apologist based in Ernakulam. He received
the degree of Th.D. in Apologetics in 1984 and Ph.D. in Physics (Quantum
Chromodynamics) in 1991. He was awarded the DSc in Alternative Medicines in
2003 and DNYS in 2004. So far he has authored more than 2500 popular articles
and research papers and more than 50 books in the fields of physics,
communication, apologetics, and theology. This includes many Indian "firsts" like a
Systematic Theology and a 4-volume Bible Encyclopaedia, both in the Malayalam
language.

He is a voting member of numerous professional societies including: Creation
Research Society, American Scientific Affiliation, The Society Of Christian
Philosophers, Indian Physics Association, etc. He is a founder and life member of
the Indian Association Of Physics Teachers.

Dr. Saneesh Cherian is a Christian communicator and theologian based in
Ernakulam, Kerala. He studied for his BTh and MDiv with Brethren Bible Institute,
DMin with IICM, and ThD with International School of Theology, India. He is the
author of numerous books and articles. He is also a co-author of many theology
textbooks including, Systematic Theology, 4-volume Bible Encyclopedia, Dictionary
of Theology, and Integrated Christian Apologetics, all in the Malayalam language.

For FREE Spiritual Resources and Tuition-free Distance Education In Theology, Please
Visit
http://www.TrinityTheology.Org
http://www.ApologeticsCourses.Com
http://www.BiblicalArcheology.Net

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