Thursday, April 10, 2014

WHY 1 PETER 3:15 is NOT JUST FOR THE MEN: Women and Apologetics

1 Peter 3:15 "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,"

Ladies this verse is not just for the men in our lives it is for us also. We need to stop living like apologetics (defense of the Christian Faith) and correct theology has no place in our lives. If anything we need to be continually learning and growing in the faith in order to teach and equip the next generation.  I say this because most women I have come in contact with have no care to learn apologetics, theology and sound doctrine. They are content living in the realm of "feelings", what "feels" right and their "personal relationship" with Christ. Discussions on deeper issues of the faith tend to stay in the man circles while the ladies quietly stand to the side.

Women have a unique opportunity to share the gospel in places men cannot go. For example apologist Mary Sharp shares:
"Muslim women are often prohibited from dialogue with men outside their family or mosque. "Christian apologetics," Sharp explained, "will need women skilled in Islamic apologetics to speak with Muslim women, to go where Christian men cannot."

Not only is that one great reason why Women need to at least learn basic apologetics but another reason is that relativism (the notion that no belief is right or wrong:your truth is your truth,my truth is my truth) is being given to our kids left and right. Christian mothers need to be able to properly articulate the christian faith and why Christ is the ONLY way THE truth and THE life.(John 14:6)

Below is a part of a  Q&A by Lee Strobel and Mary sharp on the topic of women and apologetics. (for full article click HERE.)

• Why has there traditionally been a shortage of women in the field of apologetics?

I don’t have any statistical research on why women are not as publicly involved with apologetics. However, from my interaction with women at conferences, I have found a few repeating thoughts on the issue:

1) They’ve never been introduced to the field of apologetics before and/or they are not sure of its relevance to their life. Women in the church need to understand the importance of apologetics and its potential impact. I’ve found that once women’s groups are aptly introduced to the subject, they have some of the most impassioned responses to the material. It’s not so much of a lack of desire as a lack of proper introduction.

2) One reason that shocked me was the concern women shared with me of appearing to be unintelligent. I’ve heard women say they don’t want to come across as the one who asks the “stupid question.” They feel like they should know more of the content of their faith at this point in their spiritual life, and so they don’t want fellow church members to know that they really don’t have answers yet.

3) Women have told me that their churches are not a safe place to discuss their doubts. So those who have potential for great learning in apologetics may have no outlet within their church family to explore and learn about their questions.

4) As for why we don’t see women in leadership in apologetics: As with any issue, there are many reasons that contribute. Instead of tackling all of them, I will focus on a couple personal reasons with which I’ve struggled.

First, there is the issue of putting yourself in a position where people are going to heavily criticize and attack your character and ideas. To publicly defend the faith, you have to be prepared for slander and character defamation. You have to find a way to handle these attacks that is not an all-consuming fire. You especially cannot allow apologetics discussions to beat your family down.  Finding a balance can pose a bit of a hurdle to women in leadership.

Second, women must be encouraged within the church to develop their minds and to know theology and doctrine. There must be an educational environment in the church that encourages great thinkers and develops doctrinally sound Christians to inspire greater numbers of apologists, in general, which would include Christian women.

I have found that once women are introduced to apologetics and they see the amazing transformative power of building a solid foundation for belief in God, they are excited and want to study more. I have found this to be true regardless of age, race, marital status, work commitments, or family commitments.

• Do you see more and more women getting into apologetics ministry? What can we do to attract more women into the field?

I do see more and more women getting into apologetics ministry! We can encourage women to get involved in apologetics by encouraging great thinkers in the church, in general. To attract more women, we need to be purposeful about encouraging and including women in discussions of theology and philosophy.

• I know you recently videotaped an apologetics course aimed at female audiences. Do women tend to gravitate toward different apologetic interests than men?

I did recently film a video-based apologetics course with LifeWay Christian Resources entitled, “Why Do You Believe That: A Faith Conversation.” I think the interest in apologetics is reflective of the time and culture in which we live.  We currently have more access to bad information than ever before. As C. S. Lewis stated, “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”

I haven’t noticed gravitation toward certain topics. Women’s interests seem to be as diverse as the field of topics. I have found that, just like men, individual women seem drawn to a particular argument or style of apologetics. However, women, as a ministry group, haven’t been aptly introduced to apologetics through women’s studies.  So, I think we have yet to see if there is a draw to one or another field of study. The one area of particular interest I have noticed from my speaking engagements is how to have better conversations with people who do not believe in God or in Jesus Christ.

I will make one suggestion. With the recent interest of women in books like Twilight, I think there is opportunity to tap into the idea of romance. The ultimate romance is a love affair with God, the lover of our soul. If we can somehow weave a Chesterton-type call to the romance of orthodoxy into our apologetic arguments—perhaps through the argument from desire or from objective beauty—I think we will catch some attention.


  1. I have been self educating in apologetics since the beginning of the year, as a 55 year old woman in a rural town in Australia where no one is known to be into it. There is just so much online to access to so much wonderful material that I won't live long enough to get into everything I would like to. I read, listen to MP3s, watch debates and work full time as well, so my time is at a premium, but I get up at 5am to make time for reading. I have always been interested in theology and found that women in the church have never connected readily with me as I got excited about it, so it's always been a bit of a lonely thing for me. A few men were happy to talk theology with me. However, I moved to this town for a new job only two years ago and can't find any one - male or female here - who wants to talk theology or apologetics. I'm bringing the message to the church in a fortnight and planning to introduce apologetics to the people, and plan to offer a follow up Bible study to equip people to answer the challenges offered about gay marriage. Praying that the Lord will fire the people up with enthusiasm.

    1. thanks for stopping by, I pray that you can encourage others in your community to learn apologetics.

  2. Great article. Women need to be very active in apologetics (defending the faith with the right answers ) because they are the first teachers to their children. The Moms of the world need to have the right answers for their children. If you don't teach them the world will do it for you.... The lack of faith in families today falls right back on the parents that never took their children to church nor taught them the things of God. ....