I wanted to share with you my continued conversations with Tony Jones, national coordinator for Emergent Village. As you recall, we write a regular column together for The Journal of Student Ministries. In this column, we discuss the role of apologetics in today’s postmodern culture.
The ancient church offers a powerful model for the role apologetics should play as we seek to be missional. There are two key aspects of the outreach of the early church. First, there was the content of the message and, secondly, the appeal of the message. Interestingly, the appeal of the message was not the community of believers, but rational persuasion which included evidences such as fulfilled prophecy and the resurrection.
Consider Acts 17:2-3: “As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead.” As a result, some of the Jews, Greeks, and prominent women were persuaded and joined the church. The goal of the early Christians was to change others’ beliefs before they became part of the Christian community.