My Bible never felt heavier than the time I held it under one arm with my Apol box, checking my name off the door posting for the first time. I begged as many competitors to go into my room before me, delaying what I thought was the inevitable fate for being called out for a lack of content, lack of understanding, and a shipload of heresy.
Along with Impromptu, I was forced into Apologetics. Impromptu wasn’t hard for me – no wrong answers meant no fear about topics. But Apologetics- I didn’t like Apol. at all. Specifically, I didn’t like feeling inadequate. No matter how much I prepared because I always knew that there was something I was missing. Above all, I was terrified that I would say something wrong about Scripture and God.
Tomorrow kicks off our Spring Quarter Classes – 5 weeks of coming together to grow, grow, GROW (and of course have some fun!!). Having a good foundation is essential in any endeavor. Annie Rogers will be teaching our Foundations of Apologetics Class, specifically geared for Speech and Debate students. She is about to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies, and received her competency certification in Biblical Hebrew last December. She is excited to share the treasures she has learned with her students! To sign up, Click HERE… or continue reading about the importance of a solid foundation in Apologetics…
This Sunday evening – Feb. 23, 2020, is Lasting Impact!’s mid-season apologetics workshop. It is focused on providing resources to competitors in the middle of the season (or an early jump start for next year) to equip and motivate them. We know it is a busy time and you may see a workshop as another burdensome item to add to the checklist that never seems to end. You may have also noticed, however, that this workshop is unique in that its focus is to wash attendees in Scripture. The entire two hours will be an intentional journey through what Scripture has to say about apologetics topics.
Why focus on Scripture in general? Growing in your knowledge of Scripture helps to draw you closer to Christ and focus your motivations for participating in apologetics and public speaking. Knowing more of God’s Word directly prepares you to fight temptations in your personal life, take comfort in difficult seasons, and share your faith in conversation with others as the Holy Spirit works to bring those references to mind. Scripture is the most powerful and appropriate outside resource to include when you share what you believe with others. My hope is that this workshop’s focus will benefit you by helping you to re-center your heart and emotions. My prayer is that you will be more excited to study God’s word outside of apologetics prep and get a glimpse of the treasures that wait for you.
Why focus on Scripture once the season has already begun? In case you’re still hesitant, I want to remind you that the amount of time you have to write and edit new cards will only continue to decrease as the season picks up and the other demands on your time increase. Having large quantities of Scripture passages at your fingertips allows you to not only quickly bulk up all your cards, but also directs and organizes your other content and can reduce any prep time panic.
How exactly will this workshop provide Scripture resources? You’ll be guided through carefully prepared slides that provide Scripture passages and how they could be used not only in specific topics but also with specific points that you could then elaborate on in the moment. Let’s look at an example! There are several topics that ask you to articulate the attributes of God. Each attribute provides the opportunity for you to share passages of Scripture that shed light on who God is. While we’ll be touching every apologetics topic at least by brushing past similar topics, this workshop will make sure you are prepared to fill your speeches with specific resources. For example, when explaining the meaning and significance of God’s omnipotence, the words of Scripture can shape your organization and content for each point.
Job 42:1-2 shows us the attitude we should take towards God’s omnipotence, which is one of both confidence and humility. “Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
Isaiah 14:27 chimes in “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?”
Daniel 4:35 draws a comparison between our power as humans and our inability to question the work of God. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
Ephesians 1:18-19 provides specific encouragement to believers for the eternal hope the all-powerful God has promised in salvation “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.”
Here’s a final example (we could have looked at many more) of a verse that helps articulate the magnitude of God’s omnipotence. Colossians 1:17 sums up the breadth and impact of God’s power. “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
This is the process we’ll be walking through on Sunday, and I really hope you’ll join me! Sign up here for Sunday night’s apologetics resource workshop. Click HERE to sign up.
If someone asked me to give a one-liner that captures what will be happening for two hours on the evening of February 23rd, I’d probably blurt out something like “nearly 100 Bible verses you can use in apologetics right now to help you feel more prepared and grow in your faith.” That doesn’t sound very professional, so you might want to read the rest of this article, but if you’re convinced this intensive is for you, feel free to skip the article and sign up HERE.
Although the competition season has begun, it is not too late to accumulate resources for apologetics and grow in your passion for both God’s word and this speech event. You can expect this intensive to be fast-paced and motivational! While I’ll be facilitating the evening and running the carefully prepared slides (which you will have access to after the intensive), you won’t be hearing many of my own words. Instead, you’ll have the chance to meditate with me on the divinely inspired words of God. I’ll be pushing well past the passages of Scripture you’re probably using already to challenge you with less familiar passages drawn from less familiar places in the Bible.
If you’ve participated in Lasting Impact!’s online apologetics club or workshops in the past, you’ve probably heard me or another coach explain the importance of familiarizing yourself with the broader categories and sub-categories that make up each league’s topic list. In this intensive, we’ll be moving systematically through the categories and sub-categories you will encounter and looking at Scriptures that will help you provide a deeper and stronger answer. Here are just a few examples of what we’ll be covering:
Verses that show both God’s transcendence and immanence
Verses that refute works-based salvation
Verses that proclaim Christ’s divinity and humanity
Verses that build confidence in the trustworthiness of the Bible
Verses that specifically refute deism, pantheism, and reincarnation
After this intensive, you’ll have lots of resources that can be immediately transferred to cards so that you can confidently walk into your next tournament prepared to share the power and truths of Scripture! I hope to see you on February 23rd!
One of the things I love about the Lord is that He does not change. He’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is constant, stable, reliable. He does not change like shifting shadows. And though He does not change, He is always doing something new.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? ~ Isaiah 43:19
I know He is always doing new things in me. And part of the reason He’s doing new things in me is because I’m growing, maturing in Christ, and He knows I am ready for Him to do new things in me and through me.
As a club leader, perhaps you’ve been considering doing something different with your Apologetics coaching. Your program is growing and maturing and it’s time to try something new. Or maybe, you want to begin something new in your club… like getting some Apologetics coaching going for the first time! If so, there’s good news for you… you can do a new thing! Now is the time for it to spring up… do you not perceive it?
I got to judge a round of apologetics at a National Championship. I felt slightly unqualified because it was the semi-final round and I never came close to that competitive level as an apologetics speaker. But I took the ballot and enjoyed the round. I was impressed by everyone’s incredible delivery, conduct, organization, etc. And some even shared excellent content. But I did turn in those ballots wanting to share some words of encouragement with apologetics students. Specifically, these words: dig deeper! I noticed much shallow preparation as a competitor (in myself and others) and saw more signs of it as a judge. This is not to say that the speeches I saw were bad – far from it! But I wanted to see that these students had thought deeply about their topics and hear them share from that deep thought. I wanted to hear what God’s Word says about these topics (beyond Romans 3:23, Jeremiah 29:11, and John 3:16 that is). And I wanted to hear why speakers earnestly thought there was weight to the matters they addressed. I wanted them to dig deeper.
Kaitlyn Butts is one of Lasting Impact’s Apologetics’s Coaches. She is passionate about the speech category. But not just as a speech category, for life! Lasting Impact! continues to reach students all across the nation to help them gain skills that they will use for life. Speech and Debate is not just about the competition! Here is what the Lord put on Kaitlyn’s heart on WHY students should learn Apologetics…
Two more opportunities this week to learn from a seasoned pro! Kaitlyn Butts is excited to talk about getting the most out of Speech and Debate by competing in Apologetics, as well as how to use the skills you are learning to advance your college career and beyond. These online workshops will be recorded through our online forum called Zoom, however there is no guarantee they will make it into our Recorded Workshops. So, be sure to sign up! Recordings will be sent to the email registered and remember- Workshops are only $5-$10 for members! Sign up NOW! Or keep reading to see what Kaitlyn has to say…
The following is adapted from Lasting Impact’s 2/19/19 Online Apol Meeting, taught by Matthew Harper. If you are looking or searching for growth… it’s not too late to join our second semester club. The Online Club meets every other week, building apologetics skills. Students do not need to be competing to join. Below, is what was covered week one. Meetings are recorded.