In my last post, “Theology is a Spider’s Web“, I discussed how all of theology is interconnected, much like how the strands in a web interweave. Because of these interconnections, it is possible and beneficial to write one Apologetics card that addresses several different Apologetics topics, helping to clarify each one through the lens of the others.
I ended by saying that in order to effectively utilize the ”web of theology” in-round, an Apologist must grasp one key aspect of this approach. That aspect is linking.
If used properly, the web-of-theology approach enlightens the judges’ understanding and enables them to better understand the Apologetics topic by examining it from different perspectives. If used poorly, the web-of-theology approach will leave judges scratching their heads and wondering why the speaking spent half of the time discussing things that didn’t even relate to the topic.
That’s where linking comes in. “Linking” simply means explaining to the judges how the various topics interrelate. Because you only choose one topic to speak on, if you’re going to take anything that could be considered a “detour” then you have to show the judges how it is relevant.
To illustrate this concept, here’s the linking element of one of my personal cards. I use this card for the topics on original sin, the sin nature, and the depravity of man. Notice how I explain to the judges why I’m taking a broader look at all three topics.
When Adam and Eve sinned, that sin caused all of their descendants to inherit three unwanted characteristics: original sin, a sin nature, and depravity.
I could focus in on just [topic]. However, it is quite difficult to gain a good understanding of [topic] without looking at the other two characteristics we have inherited from Adam.
So, to give a fuller picture and to help further your understanding, I am going to give a more general explanation which will include all three.
See how easy that is? Use linking properly, and you’ll be able to write fewer cards yet understand the topics more deeply than ever before.