Lost in the Marketplace of Ideas: A Case for Christian Apologetics as the Church’s Defense Against Youth Apostasy
Rawlings School of Divinity
Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics (MA)
Anthony Chadwick Thornhill
apologetics, apostasy, postmodernism, scientism, youth ministry
Rambarose, Mason Michael, "Lost in the Marketplace of Ideas: A Case for Christian Apologetics as the Church’s Defense Against Youth Apostasy" (2021). Masters Theses. 756.
The increasing polarization between the ideologies of Western culture and that of Protestant Christianity threatens the reception and retention of the gospel. The inability to biblically and reasonably assess these various cultural doctrines has revealed a great weakness in the church. This is demonstrated by the increasing apostasy of young Christians in the West. The youth are ill-equipped to reason about their faith and reconcile their beliefs with contradictory ideologies perpetuated by culture and held by the majority. Not only does the increasing secularity of education impose anti-Christian beliefs, but so do the recent advances in technology and subsequent access to information. Therefore, many are either rejecting their faith altogether or modifying their beliefs to fit within the overwhelming cultural opinion. Christian apologetics is necessary as a normative function in every local congregation in order to properly equip the church body to defend their faith against these false ideas. Just as certain types of ministers are essential for the functioning of the church body, the apologist should become a normative role in the local church. Apologetics should become a normal practice, not a separate/specialized ministry. Successful employment of apologetic thinking in the church will create an environment in which Christians think critically about their faith and are able to engage effectively with the Western culture of the 21st century. Implementing such a foundational change will cause a downstream effect on the youth. As parents are encouraged and equipped in reasoning about their faith, as well as given the skills to teach their children, the youth will become steadfast in their Christian beliefs despite the opposition from the secular West.