Dr. Philip Tallon is chair of the HBU Apologetics department. As a professor, he researches the intersection of theology, culture and the arts. His books include “The Absolute Basics of the Christian Faith,” and “The Poetics of Evil.”
Dr. Philip Tallon leads Houston Baptist University’s prestigious Apologetics program. He talked with Dr. Jerry Johnston, VP of Innovation and Strategic Marketing for HBU, about the program and the importance of the area of study.
“Even though we’re fairly new on the scene, we have one of – if not the best – apologetics departments in the world,” he said. “We have students from all over the world.”
The program has two tracks: cultural and philosophical apologetics. The cultural track looks at the ways that the arts and other forms of cultural expression point to Christian truths. The philosophical track explores traditional topics and questions such as the nature of evil and the evidence of God’s existence.
“The word ‘apologetics’ comes from the Greek word ‘apologia,’ meaning defense,” Tallon says. “It’s offering a reason for the great hope we have as Christians. Apologetics is for everyone. Anyone who is seriously interested in ministry should study it.”
Tallon says that basic biblical literacy or even commonly accepted ideas are not culturally shared as they once were. “Not that long ago in the West, Christians would not be called upon to defend and explain their beliefs,” he said. “There has been a decline of cultural Christianity in America and the surrounding world. We are seeing a rise in skepticism and even in hostility to Christian values. It’s just not the case anymore that Christianity is given deference to answer the questions of what it means to be human, what the nature of the world is and what morality consists of. There are no more free rides for Christian beliefs. We need to be prepared to encounter and face these questions.”
Apologetics study is ideal for ministry leaders, teachers, writers and every believer.
Watch or listen to the complete podcast on HBU.edu.