At the very beginning of the process of writing a solid Apologetics card is research. Which Bible verses pertain to justification? Who has written a book on God as a Trinity? What websites will help me answer the questions atheists raise? Chapter 5 of Defend deals with how to answer those questions. Starting off, the chapter provides you with a list of my favorite resources. Then, it moves into the actual research process: how to get from a blank document with a title at the top to a document full of solid research to support your speech. By starting the writing process with a bit of research, you make completing your card infinitely easier.
In Apologetics speaking, you can draw any of three different types of topics: Meaning and Significance/Define and Defend, General Questions, and Statement Analysis. While all of these topics deal with the general subject area of theology, your approach to the topic you draw should differ dramatically depending upon what type it is. Chapter 4 deals with the fundamentals of topic analysis, giving you tips on how you should approach each type of topic. I also provide a few in-round “tactics”, some personal flourishes I use to demonstrate my command of the topic.
In Chapter 2 of Defend, I answer the question, “Why compete in Apologetics?” Starting off with why the NCFCA and Stoa offer this category, I move on to the benefits of competing in it. Understanding the fundamentals of our faith, understanding the foundation of our faith, the ability to articulate, and the ability to defend are all benefits that competing in Apologetics brings. Like Apollos, we can always be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15, ESV). Competing in Apologetics provides benefits that simply cannot be matched by any other speech event.
Chapter 1 of Defend lays the foundation for the rest of the book by answering the question, “What is Apologetics?” More specifically, what does it look like in competition?
This chapter starts off by establishing the difference between ordinary Christian Apologetics–debates, discussions with friends, etc.–and competitive Apologetics. After looking at the format of the event, the chapter looks at the rules of Apologetics and points out a few important aspects of how the event is supposed to look. Finally, it concludes by comparing Apologetics to its siblings in the Limited Preparation group of speeches and discussing several important contrasts between them.
In the introduction to my soon-to-be-published book, Defend, I tell my personal story of how I became involved in speech and debate in general and Apologetics in particular. I start with my very first exposure to the activity and move on to my initial experience with Limited Preparation speeches, starting to compete in Apologetics, winning multiple tournaments, and becoming a National Finalist in Apologetics. While competing in Apologetics, I realized that the existing Apologetics resources, though helpful, simply weren’t enough. I created my own system for simplifying Apologetics that can enable any competitor to master Apologetics by writing only 25 cards. But more about the system will have to wait for a later chapter….
As promised, in this post I will go a little bit deeper into the specific content of my upcoming book, Defend: The Definitive Guide to Mastering Apologetics.
To start off by giving you the big picture, this is the book’s tentative Table of Contents.
Introduction: From Novice to Nationals
Part 1. What and Why
Chapter 1. What is Apologetics?
Chapter 2. Why compete in Apologetics?
Part 2. How
Chapter 3. The Conceptual Organizational System
Chapter 4. Topic Analysis
Chapter 5. Research
Chapter 6. Writing
Chapter 7. Storage and Retrieval
Chapter 8. In the Room
Chapter 9. Delivery
Basically, Defend is an overview of competitive Apologetics. Including both high-level information and nuts-and-bolts practicality, it will be useful to competitors of all ages and levels of experience. Hopefully, it will be especially helpful to students who have never tried Apologetics before and don’t really know where to start. Using from my personal experience, I wrote this guide to mastering Apologetics in order to provide guidance and advice for those interested in Apologetics.
Over the next two weeks, I will be offering more information about the content of each individual chapter, posting every other day. Keep an eye open!
Ever since I founded Become Thoroughly Equipped, I’ve wanted to write a book on Apologetics. This is why: There is a gaping hole in the variety of Apologetics resources available. Let me explain.
I used plenty of resources during my years in Apologetics, but one seemed to be missing. That missing resource was an introduction to Apologetics, a resource that would serve as my guide for the event.
Think about it: When you want to learn about a brand new subject area, which books and resources do you search for? First and foremost, you need a general overview of the entire topic area. Only after you have a bird’s-eye view of the topic can you most effectively utilize other resources in their specific places.
Unfortunately, there is a dearth of resources that fulfill this role when it comes to competitive Apologetics. My soon-to-be-released book will fill this void. Next week, I’ll provide more details about the information it will contain.