Aussie Apologetics

I just returned from the land of kangaroos and koala bears, otherwise known as the land down under. I spent eight days teaching theology and apologetics in Victoria, Australia. It was a privilege and delight to partner with my Australian brothers and sisters in Christ and equip them for the defense of the Gospel.

Besides realizing that Aussies shorten nearly every word in the English language (e.g. breakfast is brekky, mosquito is mozzie, etc.), I also learned that they don’t hold the same negative view of apologetics that some American Christians do. There wasn’t a jaded belief about apologetics, thinking it’s argumentative, academic, and unnecessary to the Gospel. In fact, they welcome it because of the increasingly secular culture.

Victoria, the Australian state I taught in, is particularly hostile to Christian values. In 2008, they passed a radical abortion bill that legalized abortion up until birth. They also recently made provisions for physician-assisted suicide. And within the last few months, Australia voted to legalize same-sex marriage (SSM).

During these sweeping changes in public policy (and especially during the SSM debate), believers told me they experienced a tremendous amount of hostility, name-calling, and intimidation from SSM advocates when they tried to discuss it. That’s why they were hungry for apologetics. They wanted practical training to help them communicate their convictions in a persuasive yet gracious way.

The group I spent most of my time with had previously been trained in evangelism, had studied Koukl’s Tactics book, and had consumed a steady diet of Stand to Reason material prior to my arrival. They were prepared and eager to learn even more. I look forward to returning in the future. Please join me in praying for them to be faithful ambassadors for Christ in the land down under.

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Alan Shlemon

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