SER 33 – Sean McDowell – Tackling Tough Cultural Issues
1 Peter 3:15 says, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
This verse from Peter’s first epistle is often cited as a basis for the work and ministry of apologetics. Rightly understood, we are exhorted by the apostle to be prepared at a moment’s notice to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. This assumes a number of things.
First, that we recognize that all disciples of Jesus are expected to share the news of God’s forgiveness through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
A second reason this verse is important to consider is because it actually encourages us to memorize Scripture. Chances are you don’t carry a Bible with you 24/7, so having Scripture memorized will enable you to always be ready.
Third, this exhortation assumes that we have taken the time to understand the thinking that characterizes the days in which we live. Would you know how to respond to someone who says “Well, this gospel of Jesus stuff works for you but it doesn’t do anything for me.”? What would you say to someone who says, “Christianity is nothing more than a crutch for the weak-minded.”?
Finally, Peter’s admonition in this verse to make a defense or presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, instructs us to view the apologetic task as one that is done with gentleness and reverence. This is one aspect of the apologetic mandate often overlooked. We will never win anyone to Christ through a heated exchange that engages the emotions only.
My guest on this episode of SER has devoted his life to the apologetic task of presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone who will listen. This is my conversation with noted author and apologist Sean McDowell.
Dr. Sean McDowell is a gifted communicator with a passion for equipping the church, and in particular young people, to make the case for the Christian faith. Sean is a graduate of Talbot Theological Seminary with a double Master’s degree in Theology and Philosophy and earned a Ph.D. in Apologetics and Worldview Studies from Southern Baptist Seminary. He is an Assistant Professor in the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University.
Sean is the author, co-author, or editor of over eighteen books including The Fate of the Apostles (Ashgate, 2015), A New Kind of Apologist (Harvest House, 2016), Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage, with John Stonestreet (Baker, 2014), Is God Just a Human Invention? with Jonathan Morrow, and Understanding Intelligent Design along with William A. Dembski.
Sean has also written multiple books with his father, Josh McDowell, including The Unshakable Truth, More Than A Carpenter, and Evidence for a New Generation (2017). Sean is the General Editor for The Apologetics Study Bible for Students. He has also written for Youth Worker Journal, Decision Magazine, and the Christian Research Journal. Sean blogs regularly at seanmcdowell.org.