Myles McLean was a leader in Region 6. He competed in NCFCA for 4 years. In 2014 he placed first place at The Region 6 Regional Tournament in Apologetics.
1. When did you start competing in apologetics, and how long did you compete?
I started competing in Apologetics half way through my second year of competition (Sophomore year) and continued through the rest of high school.
2. What was your favorite card and why?
My preferences changed frequently. Whatever was real to me in my faith at the time became my favorite thing to talk about. For instance, when I went through seasons of struggle it was important for me to remind myself that God knows my situation and He is with me; in that example I would choose “Explain the meaning and significance of the omniscience of God.”
3. What is one thing you would do differently if you went back again to do apologetics?
If I could go back I would look beyond the competition. I wish I would have chosen topics in the round that I was not prepared for, that way I would know what it felt like to have to defend your faith in times where you felt unprepared. I think this is more true to how the real world.
4. How has doing apologetics challenged or influenced you?
Apologetics challenges me to know how to deal with the tough questions. I don’t have the right answer most of the time, but it taught me how to express what I do know in an honest, genuine manner. Being okay with not knowing every little detail of the Christian faith, and instead focusing on the big truths and trusting the Holy Spirit to move within the hearts of those who you come into contact with.
5. What are you doing now (that you’re done.. out of competition, etc.)?
I am currently a junior at Illinois State University studying Public Relations. I plan to add Legal Studies as a double major. I am not certain what the Lord has in store for me beyond college, but I am seriously considering going to law school.
6. Why do you think Apologetics is important?
The cliche response to this would be “to know what you believe and why.” Although this is true, I don’t believe this is the main reason people should do Apologetics. Think about it. If knowledge is our focus, then we begin doing research only for the sake of having the perfect card. We choose the topic that we are best prepared for because that’s what we have the most knowledge on. We present our speeches in hopes that the judges will be impressed by our knowledge and will give us a high ranking. Bottom line: when we focus merely on knowledge, it is easy to minimize Apologetics down to a systematic process. Stop. I’ve been there. In fact, most of my Apologetics career was centered around this idea. Even though I may have had success, that approach to Apologetics doesn’t stick with you after high school.
The Gospel isn’t focused entirely on satisfying the intellect (or, the mind), it satisfies the needs of our heart as well. Because of this, my encouragement to any current competitor is to put relationship above rationality. Focus on your relationship with God and your relationship with your judges. Let that guide your preparation and your choice of topic when you get in the room. Don’t just treat the judges as ears to hear your speech. Trust and earnestly pray that each time you walk into the room God has got something in store. Strive to leave a lasting impact on your listeners for His Kingdom.