Practical Apologetics and the Church

Practical Apologetics and the Church
We recently presented a public lectureship in Chester, California. Some preachers who attended all lamented the number of young adults who no longer attended their congregations. We have also received emails from church leaders complaining about the loss of young people and worrying that their congregations are “graying” with most of the members being senior citizens. Fifty years ago DOES GOD EXIST? predicted this crisis with atheism winning the day in the media and on our college campuses. Unfortunately, the Church has done nothing to counteract this trend. We still have congregations where the leaders present no lessons of any kind on how we know God exists, how we know the Bible is His Word, and how we can answer the challenges of secular humanism, evolutionism, modernism, and materialism. The Church needs practical apologetics.

The apostle Peter wrote, “…always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is within you…”(1 Peter 3:15). Because we have refused to do what Peter told us to do, our young people assume that we have no answer to the major challenges they face each day. Many of our preacher-training schools teach their students that they should believe, and if God says it that settles it. Neither Jesus, the apostles, nor the early Church practiced that mentality. Romans 1:18-25 explains the progress of modern atheism, and in Acts 17:16-34 Paul addressed the kind of challenges today’s Church faces.

Young people today need to know why we believe what we believe. Many of us are not prepared to answer the questions that kids have. While kids may stay “in church” while they are at home, their reason for staying, in their words which I regularly hear, “It’s a small price to pay for peace at home.” The Church seems to think that entertaining kids will answer their questions, but the truth is that we can not out-entertain Disney. When kids return from a trip to Gatlinburg or Six Flags, they have the same questions they had before. When kids leave home and no longer have to appease their parents, they no longer attend any congregation of the Church. The university or the armed services will not push them to attend. Even kids who attend a Christian college frequently do not attend any congregation of the Lord’s Church.

We urge adults to pray about how to bring practical apologetics into the thinking of their young people. There are many good books and studies out there, but there are also some really bad ones. Ninety-percent of all printed apologetic material in the United States is written by denominational speakers who are supporting their denomination’s doctrine (according to Ronald Numbers in his book The Creationists). This includes all of Ken Ham’s material as well as Henry Morris and the Institute for Creation Research.

In our printed journal and online, we have reviewed excellent material by Douglas Jacoby, John Oakes, and LaGaard Smith. We also have our own study material for all ages which can be secured free of charge. On you can watch our video series, and we have a teacher’s guide available free upon request to go with this series. We also have a children’s series with guides. We are a ministry, not a business and we are here to present practical apologetics to help you build a dynamic, living faith in young people that will sustain them throughout life.
–John N. Clayton © 2018

State of Israel and Zionism

State of Israel
We get quite a bit of mail from people asking why we don’t support the political State of Israel. My education in this area of study is minimal. Dr. Douglas Jacoby, who is an expert on this subject, concisely expresses the problems with Zionism and what the Bible teaches about Jesus’ kingdom. I hope the following from Dr. Jacoby’s website will be helpful. –John N. Clayton

Teaching: Central to Yahweh’s plans which culminate in the heavenly Zion are political conditions in an earthly Zion. Israel is still in a covenant relationship with God. Jesus’ return is in some way connected with the conversion of all national Israel. Christians should support the State of Israel militarily. The Palestinians are not the people of God, but the enemy of America and Israel.

Biblical emphasis: God is sovereign over history.

Support: Joshua 21:43; Zephaniah 3:20.

Biblical error: When the modern State of Israel was created in 1948, many Palestinians (most were Christian or Muslim) were evicted from their homes, their land expropriated by the fledgling government. These actions did not fulfill prophecy. God did promise the land to Israel- which she received over 3000 years ago (Joshua 21:43). God also promised to bring her back from exile, in the event that she repented (Deuteronomy 30:4; see also Zephaniah 3:20). The Jews came back to their land in the 6th century BC, under the Persian king Cyrus (2 Chronicles 36:22-23), not in the years leading up to 1948. No national promise remains to be fulfilled. See also Matthew 3:7-11; 21:33-46

Further: The architects of modern Israel were mainly atheists and agnostics. The formation of the modern state of Israel was not accompanied by faith and repentance; it was a human undertaking. That is why the rabbis of Orthodox Judaism oppose Zionism for its atheism and humanism.

We have posted information from Dr. Jacoby on this subject before, and you can read it HERE. For more, go to his website