Here is what Lee Strobel is saying in a new interview from the Christian Post about the future of apologetics:
Christianity in general and the Bible in particular are under widespread and vociferous attack by militant atheists, radical scholars, critical authors, skeptical professors, misguided documentaries, and a proliferation of online spiritual confusion. Books by the so-called New Atheists have received a lot of media attention, which has emboldened cynics to become even more outspoken. The Internet has helped atheists and agnostics coalesce as never before.
Skeptics are becoming more determined to proselytize. In public high schools and colleges, the Secular Student Alliance, an umbrella for atheist organizations, has doubled in size in two years, with 250 chapters in the U.S. Not long ago, the American Humanist Association launched the largest national multi-media campaign ever by an atheist organization, preaching that the Bible advocates “fear, intolerance, hate, and ignorance.”
And we’re seeing the country drift toward skepticism. Among 18-to-29-year-olds, nearly one in four now claims no religion, which has doubled since 1990. Recent books have said that young people are dropping out of church at five or six times the historic rate, many because of intellectual doubts.
All of these trends have awakened a sleeping giant – Christian apologetics, or the defense of the faith. We’re seeing apologetics books on the New York Times bestsellers list. Schools like Biola University and its Talbot School of Theology, which are leaders in apologetics, are filled to capacity. Denver Seminary is launching a new degree in Christian Apologetics and Ethics this fall. One organization is seeking to place apologists on 500 college campuses in the next five years.
A recent magazine featured this headline: “Apologetics Makes a Comeback Among Youth.” As David Kinnaman wrote in his book You Lost Me
, which is based on interviews with thousands of young people: “This generation wants and needs truth, not spiritual soft-serve. This is a generation hungry for substantive answers to life’s biggest questions.”
I agree! We were prodded to produce Student Editions of my books The Case for Christ
, The Case for Faith
, The Case for a Creator
and The Case for the Real Jesus
because so many young people were asking for them. There’s a genuine desire among young people to understand the rationality behind Christian beliefs – often because their peers are reading atheist writings and raising questions about whether Christianity really does make sense.
Fortunately, I believe we’re on the cusp of a golden era of apologetics. We’re seeing such scholars as William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland, William Dembski, Stephen Meyer, and others making fresh, cutting-edge arguments for Christianity. Academia is taking notice. Terrific websites, like apologetics315.com, are making apologetic material more widely available. Younger leaders like Sean McDowell are taking apologetics to a new generation.
Apologetics conferences are springing up all around the nation. We did one for high school students in Colorado a few years ago and we maxed out our facility with 2,000 enthusiastic kids. We had a waiting list to get in! The National Apologetics Conference has drawn up to 4,300 participants.
So I’m very optimistic about the future of Christian apologetics. Apologists are effectively refuting the recycled objections of the atheists while at the same time presenting a clear and compelling affirmative case for the truth of Christianity.
More from the interview here…