Tonight we’re excited to be meeting for our second week of Online Apologetics! As usual, 8:15-9:15 CST. This evening, we will have the privilege of learning from Joel Erickson. Joel is an NCFCA Alum currently studying Philosophy and English at Wheaton College. Joel will be sharing his perspective on “why apol?” and digging into the first definition card of the first apologetics category – the meaning and significance of the Trinity.
Joel Erickson was the apologetics instructor at his local speech club for two years, and he advanced to Apologetics Quarterfinals at the 2016 NCFCA National Championship.
It’s not too late to sign up for this awesome opportunity to learn and grow through Apologetics as an online group! Here is Joel’s perspective on Apologetics….
1. When did you start competing in apologetics, and how long did you compete?
I competed in Apologetics for two years, starting as a high school junior.
2. What was your favorite card/category (choose one if you’d like) and why?
I loved every question for different reasons… my favorite might have been “Analyze and Respond: ‘I don’t need Jesus; I can just relate to God myself.’” I distinctly recall crying during the speech and sobbing afterwards because I was so moved by God’s grace.
3. What is one thing you would do differently if you went back again to do apologetics?
I would make cards. Going impromptu each round gave me some invaluable skills, but I missed out on the formative experience of systematic research.
4. How has doing apologetics challenged or influenced you?
In retrospect, I started competing because I wanted validation that I was a strong Christian who knew his Bible. Candidly, I also think I wanted to prove myself to others as well. Not breaking my entire first year taught me that Apologetics isn’t about accentuating my ego but magnifying God… I learned that God’s perception of me is not vested in my performance but in my posture to Him. My successes and failures will fade like the flowers of the field, but my heart attitude toward God will affect every aspect of my life. Apologetics contributed significantly to reforming my heart attitude.
5. What are you doing now (that you’re done.. out of competition, etc.)?
I’m enrolled at Wheaton College and pursuing a double major in Philosophy and English, with the aim of teaching at the collegiate level or attending seminary. I am also blessed to be involved still with the high school speech and debate community as a coach-in-training with Ethos Debate.
6. What is the biggest thing you’d recommend to apologetics students who are just starting?
Don’t be daunted by the seemingly insurmountable 105 questions. Approach the category not with a “I-can’t-do-this” attitude but an “I-can-do-all-things-through-Christ-who-gives-me-strength” mentality. If you vigilantly read your Bible, pray to God, and capture that awe and wonder at his infinite grace, you’ll be more prepared for Apologetics than the competitor with scripts to all 105 questions with a misplaced heart. Focus on preparing for Apologetics as a way to enrich your relationship with God and teach some judges about His grandeur. Then, regardless of whether or not your name is called during break announcements, you still won.