1st Peter 3:15 says “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Holy, and always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within you.”
This verse is one widely considered to be the foundation for all Christian Apologetics and is one that gives Christians a high responsibility. To ALWAYS be ready to give an answer means that we can’t delay in our preparation or in our willingness to answer anyone who asks us about the hope that we have in Christ. Nothing prepares us better to do this than learning and competing in the speech event Apologetics… even as a beginner!
Apologetics, an event where you discuss over 100 potential prompts on questions of Christian Theology in front of a judge, is one of the most beneficial events you can participate in from a practical and eternal perspective. In terms of content, the issues you discuss and learn about are some of the most important you will ever learn in any speech or debate event. As with any speech event there are a number of general goals and benefits associated with apologetics. But aside from simply wanting to compete with excellence, or speak with eloquence, apologetics allows us to learn and prepare ourselves for the real calling we face as Christians to defend our faith.
I would go, as far as to say that Apologetics is the first limited preparation event that one should learn. Here are my reasons why…
It’s the most accessible Limited Prep Category. It’s one of the most straightforward, and its easily the most important. Whereas in Impromptu, one gets little prep time, no specified number of prompts to prepare for ahead of time, and no limited category of discussion, Apologetics offers focused, pointed, and reasoned questions that allow even the newest of competitors to access without feeling overwhelmed. In impromptu it’s more than likely that you’ll have to discuss something you’ve never prepped before, and while that’s fine and has value it can be a tricky thing to do early in ones speaking career. Even in Extemporaneous, the amount of specific research that needs to be done on such a broad number of topics can be both overwhelming and frustrating. I’ve experienced first hand what it’s like to get three extemp questions that I know next to nothing about and being frustrated that I couldn’t have prepared more.
Apologetics is the one event that anyone can start in, learn quickly, and speak well as long as the work is put in regardless of if you’re a professional speaker or a brand new competitor.
Apologetics naturally lends itself to being an event that, with dedication, is easy to jump into and learn. It also happens to have the most impact on one’s life as a Christian by teaching us who God is, who we are, and how we can be ready at all times to give a defense for the hope that we have in Christ.
Heather Neumann says, “I know plenty of clubs who start with Apologetics, not Impromptu. Think about it… what will be easier? One hundred options of what your topic might be, OR anything? Apol. is a great place to start!”
If you want to learn more about Apologetics. Sign up and join Lasting Impact!’s Online Apol. Workshop with Chiara Baldacci. She will be giving the basics- all about Apol. and how to get started. This one hour (or so) session will take place Thursday August 23, 2018, 9:00-10:00 ET. For more info and to sign up, click HERE.
~Michael Tant has over a decade of Speech and Debate experience on the high school and the collegiate level in all forms. He is passionate about the activity, its benefits, and its importance for life.
As a competitor he was blessed with regular success in debate winning several national championships and garnering years of competitive experience and knowledge. As a coach, he desires that students maximize their potential and compete excellently for the Glory of God, his job is to assist students on that journey.