By Lane Noble
Apologetics can be defined as presenting a rational defense of the Christian faith. The field has truly grown over the years. Not only has there been more work done in the academic arena of apologetics, but accessibility to apologetics information has grown significantly.
This kind of growth is something that we need to promote. The more we promote it, the more people will hear a reasoned defense of the Christian faith and the more the gospel will spread. At the very least, people’s plausibility structures, or what people are willing to entertain as possible, will expand to at least include the possibility of Christianity.
If we’re going to do this, however, we have to realize that, while secularism is growing, it is also changing. With the belief that this life is all there is, there is a growing push to make this world a better place. Obviously, we as Christians can applaud the idea of making the word a better place and, where possible, we should join secular humanists in that mission, without, of course, adopting a secular humanist philosophy.
With that said, one of the major pushes, one that I think Christians can get behind, is a push for gender equality, which is a value that the Bible most certainly promotes. (Galatians 3:28) However, over the years, the western church has distorted that value and made Christianity look like a “white man’s religion.” This is why many critical theorists and what are known as “social justice warriors” see Christianity as oppressive.
While we know that the claim that Christianity is an inherently oppressive religion doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, the fact of the matter is that it is up to us as Christians to prove them wrong. We know that because they are actively avoiding belief in a Creator and coming to faith in Christ, they aren’t going to do the work necessary to fairly evaluate Christianity. Thus, we need to go to them, and make it easy for them to see us living the way we ought to be living, so that they will be interested in at least taking the gospel message seriously.
Right now, as diversity seems to be increasingly important to a secular audience, we need to make sure that women are visible in the field of apologetics, so that Christianity is not perceived as merely a “white man’s religion.” By doing this, we expose that phrase “white man’s religion” for what it really is: a false excuse not to take Christianity and its truth claims seriously.
Now, this is not to discredit men in apologetics. There are so many male apologists out there that have done wonderful work in the field of apologetics that I’m grateful for. What we want is for people to see that the gospel of Christ is for everyone.
With that said, if you want to familiarize yourself with some women in apologetics, here are some of the best women apologists that I know of to familiarize yourself with. We don’t just want to learn from and refer to people from anyone. We want biblically-minded, wise, and intelligent Christians. Here is just a sampling of women like that to get started, in no particular order:
Dr. Alisa Childers
Dr. Georgia Purdom
Dr. Avery Foley
Dr. Elizabeth Jackson
Dr. Esther Meek
These women, to say the least, are geniuses. They do fantastic work in the places that God has put them. For example, Dr. Esther Meek is a seasoned academic philosopher, and she does a phenomenal job at handling some of the most difficult questions in philosophy. Patricia Engler is amazing when it comes to practical ways of thinking through objections to Christianity and witnessing to people in a secular culture. Dr. Georgia Purdom has excellent insight into the creation versus evolution debate. Definitely check out all of the women that I’ve mentioned in this list. Karina Altman mostly writes articles and gives talks for Answers in Genesis, so what you find from her may be limited, but she is still worth reading and listening to.
I should mention another reason that we need more women in apologetics, and that’s because we need more female mouthpieces to speak out against abortion. This is not to say that men can’t do this, and that there aren’t women out there doing so effectively, but, as the pro-choice movement has made clear, they hate it when men try to convince people that abortion is wrong. While this is fallacious thinking on the part of the pro-choice movement, and we should point this out, it is worth having more women speak on this issue in order to get past that obstacle in the minds o most pro-choice advocates. It is often the case that we have to work with fallacious thinking if we’re going to reach those that don’t care to give God’s Word a fair hearing.
In conclusion, I am grateful for the growing number of women in the field of apologetics. I hope that we will see even more in the future, and that the gospel will spread to the ends of the Earth because of it.