Known for her expertise in public speaking and writing, Assistant Professor of Apologetics Mary Jo Sharp emphasizes relational connections in apologetic engagement. She has written the influential Bible study, “Why Do You Believe That?” and is a contributor to several collected works of apologetics including, “A New Kind of Apologist,” and “In Defense of the Bible.” She also regularly writes curriculum with LifeWay Christian Resources.
Mary Jo Sharp, HBU assistant professor of Apologetics and author, joined Dr. Jerry Johnston, VP of Innovation and Strategic Marketing for Houston Baptist University, to discuss the vital role of apologetics in the modern Church.
After becoming a Christian during her college years, Sharp says she began to doubt the Christian faith because of the behavior of some who identified as Christ-followers. Her cynicism ultimately led her to seek truth even more, and Sharp earned a degree in apologetics from Biola University. Her study was the impetus for her blog, “Confident Christianity.”
“We live in a time in which people reject biblical authority. They don’t reject it for good reasons – it’s not that they’ve taken time to carefully investigate for themselves. It’s kind of where we are as a culture,” she explained.
While many of the anti-Christian soundbites are not thoughtful arguments, they can leave the faithful at a loss for how to respond.
“Apologetics is not something that has been in our churches,” Sharp says. “We need to teach it in the Church so the first time people are encountering it, it’s in a safe place.”
Through her blog, Sharp seeks to help people know what they believe, and then learn to listen to others, question them, and formulate responses.
Earning a degree in apologetics takes learners further into both the need for the Christian faith and the reasons for its relevance and truth.
“Right now, we need to provide solid, strong answers to some of these soundbites we’re hearing that are just false,” Sharp says. “They’re not coming out of deep investigation into the truth. I can’t just sit in the pew and not look at the world; I have to give a defense.”
Sharp and Johnston each emphasize the foundational nature of teaching Christian principles within the home. Ultimately, apologetics is for every Christian.
Watch or listen to the complete podcast on HBU.edu.