Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the blessings of life. I have many things for which I am thankful. I am most certainly thankful for my relationship with Christ and for my wonderful family. It is not often addressed, but it is not always easy on one’s family when a person is an apologist, and even moreso when a person is in the ministry. The time spent researching and studying may take away from family time if a person is not careful. I am thankful that my family supports me in pastoral ministry and in my apologetic ministry. But, as an apologist, there are certain things for which I am extra thankful. The following comprise 10 of the things for which I am thankful in no particular order.
The evidence for the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. The evidence for Jesus’s resurrection is sound and strong, so much so that to deny the resurrection of Christ takes a larger leap of faith than accepting it does. A big thank you goes out to Gary Habermas and his research on this issue.
The manuscript evidence for the New Testament. The manuscript evidence is so strong that scholars can know with 99.7% certainty what was in the original manuscripts. That is amazing! Big thank you to Daniel Wallace, Craig Keener, and Craig Blomberg and those like him who have researched this issue.
The arguments for God’s existence. I have become increasingly convinced that it takes more faith not to believe in God than it does to believe in him. Big thanks go out to the work of William Lane Craig, John Lennox, and many countless others for defending God’s existence.
The apologists who have spent countless hours defending the faith. I have mentioned some of the apologists in my previous points. Nevertheless, I am where I am today in my faith because of God’s use of countless individuals in the apologetic ministry. In addition to Habermas, Craig, Lennox, and Wallace, I must add Norman Geisler, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, Frank Turek, Craig Blomberg, Paul Copan, J. Warner Wallace, Tim Stratton, and the list goes on and on. Thank you for those who have invested your time defending the faith! Thank you also for the early apologists for their work, as well.
Professors who have invested their time in their students. I have many professors I could list here. Good professors make a difference in the lives of their students. I have been blessed by Leo Percer, Chet Roden, Chad Thornhill, Daniel Mitchell, Gary Habermas, Kevin King, David Baggett, Perry Hildreth, Ron Williams, R. Wayne Stacy, Stephen Lowe, Gary Yates, Kent Blevins, and many, many more. Thank you for your work, your lives, and your ministry.
Pastors who are not afraid to address apologetic and theological issues. Unfortunately, there are not as many pastors involved in apologetics and theology as I wish. However, for those who are, they are trailblazers! I am thinking of Bobby Conway of the One Minute Apologist and Voddie Baucham. Other pastor-apologists include Anthony Weber, Carl Gallups, Christopher Brooks, Dan Kimball, David Robertson, Derwin Gray, Edgar Andrews, Erwin Lutzer, Jack Wellman, Joe Boot, Mark D. Roberts, Matt Rawlings, Mike Spaulding, Phil Fernandes, Rice Broocks, Tim Keller, Michael Boehm, and Todd Wagner. There are others I am sure I have missed. Thank you!
The growing number of young Christian apologists who fervently seek to defend the faith. A revolution is taking place. A massive number of young Christians are becoming more and more interested in apologetics and theology. This is great news because they realize that evangelism must include apologetics! May the Lord increase the number of young apologist-evangelists.
The growing number of women taking an interest in apologetics. Women are becoming involved in apologetics and are doing excellent work. I am thankful for Melissa Cain Travis, Melissa Pellew, Holly Ordway, Nancy Pearcey, VT Clark, Hillary Morgan Ferrer, Alisa Childers, Mary Jo Sharp, and many others. I also think about the ladies in the Ph.D. program at Liberty University which includes the first female graduate of the program in Amy Downey, also Merissa Davis, Michelle Johnson, Carol Twyman, Sherene Kouri, Lori Peters, Deanna Huff, Gabrielle Alexis, and others I am sure I have missed.
Apologetic writers who have spent tiring hours churning out high-quality and sound books. This point is similar to the fourth. I am who I am today because of those who have invested their time in writing books for those who are struggling in the faith. That is the driving focus behind BellatorChristi.com. I receive no funds for the website. In fact, I have certain expenses in keeping the website going. I do what I do because of my desire to share the reasons for the faith with those who may be struggling. Answers exist for the questions that people have concerning the faith.
Those who are, and those who have come to faith because of the evidence which illustrates that God uses apologetics as an evangelistic tool. Some claim that people do not come to faith through evidence. However, many conversions prove that to be a fallacious claim. The conversions of J. Warner Wallace, Lee Strobel, and Josh McDowell are among many that illustrate the convicting power of the evidence for Christ. The Holy Spirit uses the evidence for the faith to lead people to salvation. He may also use it to strengthen the faith of those who may be struggling. My testimony is also evidence of that fact.
I have many more things I could share. I have many more people for whom I am thankful. This list merely skims the surface of an ocean of thanks that we all should have. Most importantly, I am thankful that there really is a God who really gave his Son and his Spirit to all who would believe. So, no matter what circumstances in which you find yourself this holiday season, if you are a believer and have been impacted by the power of Christian apologetics, you have a lot for which you can be thankful.
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