OK, so being prepared to defend he faith can be pretty hard… Refuting evolution. Defending the historicity of the gospels. Making sense of Big-Bang cosmology… oh boy!
There was a time in this country when the primary focus of the church in moving people from rebels to followers of Christ was to simply preach the gospel. Most people had a basic belief in God and probably even believed that the Bible speaks with authority to the issues that are most important in life. Now this didn’t mean that people were willing to repent of their sin and follow Christ, but there was generally no need to convince the average person that God exists.
In today’s post-Christian culture, though, things are quite different because of two predominant ‘isms’: naturalism and relativism. Neither is new, but together they are playing a bigger role than ever in the effort to win lost people to Christ. Naturalism is a worldview that defines anything nonmaterial out of existence—basically ‘what you see is what you get.’ This view has been around for quite a while and is probably more on the wane than on the rise, except within the scientific community. Relativism is a worldview where the world is relative to each of us—basically: ‘reality is in the eye of the beholder.’ In this view, Jesus’ message is neither true nor false, but true for one person and not for another. Sadly, this view has been on the rise in recent years.
Naturalism defines away God, while relativism makes God merely a personal preference. If we are going to reach this sort of culture with the truth of the gospel, we have got to be able to dismantle these two philosophies—a sort of pre-evangelism. The great news is that since they are both false, showing their bankruptcy is not nearly as difficult as it might seem. We just need some information, good tactics, and a little courage. This is exactly what apologetics is all about, and why it is worth the effort!