As a thinking person, do you sometimes feel intellectually lonely at church?
Do you struggle to find places for civil, gracious disagreement about important ideas?
If you’re a pastor, do you long for your congregation to be well equipped to resolve doubts and lead people to faith in Christ?
I want to tell you about my experience of having these needs met through the Christian Apologetics Alliance (CAA).
My Journey with the CAA
Joining the CAA two years ago has been one of the best decisions of my life. As a full-time campus minister, I needed a place of like-minded people to talk about the opportunities and challenges of engaging with people from different worldviews. As an avid reader of apologetics books, I found the CAA to be a great place to talk about the latest ideas, get critical feedback, and be encouraged.
I joined the Christian Apologetics Alliance almost two years ago. I later volunteered to be part of the ‘admin team’, a group of people who run the website, moderate conversations, and do a lot of work behind the scenes. The entire admin team for the Christian Apologetics Alliance are just terrific people. Then, for the past twelve months, I had the privilege of serving under Chris Reese as the Vice President of the CAA, and on June 1st of this year, I am thrilled to begin a term as the President of the CAA. The longer I’ve been involved, the more convinced I am that the CAA is an invaluable community for the global church and I am eager to promote what God is doing through this network.
Where else would I have had the chance to learn from Dr. Tim McGrew, who has published in journals like Philosophia Christi and Mind, contributed to the Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, and is an in-demand speaker and author? Tim is the Vice President of the CAA this coming year; he’s regularly and humbly offering world-class expertise and suggesting excellent resources to members of the community.
Through the CAA, I connected with Tom Gilson, and we published the best-selling book, True Reason, with many other authors from the Christian Apologetics Alliance. True Reason features incredible contributions, including chapters from Dr. William Lane Craig, Sean McDowell, and Dr. Matt Flannagan.
To summarize: for me, joining the CAA has led to:
- new relationships,
- learning how to run a blog and website,
- mentoring from world class scholars, and
- contributing to, editing, and publishing a bestselling book.
(There are some lighter, more amusing projects in the CAA as well).
More About the CAA
As best I can tell, my experience in the CAA is not at all atypical. The group is filled with generous, open-hearted, and highly intelligent contributors. To illustrate just a few of the amazing resources of this community:
- Strategic partnerships
- The Apologetics Bloggers Alliance
- Our official website
- A free training program in Christian apologetics
Though we’re a fairly new organization, by God’s grace the CAA has built a strong partnership with the apologetics movement Ratio Christi. It is a pleasure to highlight and support such great institutions.
Rick Schenker, the President of Ratio Christi, is enthusiastic about our partnership:
Ratio Christi is very excited that the Christian Apologetics Alliance (CAA) has created a virtual communications hub for the apologetics community. We fully support the effort and encourage anyone interested in Christian apologetics to join the conversations, and take advantage of the broad range of expertise within the group.
And Dr. Holly Ordway has strongly endorsed the group:
The Christian Apologetics Alliance is an excellent resource and community for apologists. Its international scope and the range of participants – from top scholars to beginning apologists – makes it an invaluable way to keep a finger on the pulse of apologetics engagement with the culture. I have been very impressed with the extent of the support and cooperation of participants for each other’s ministries. Because it is a doctrinally diverse group (CAA holds to the Apostles Creed as the core statement of faith), members have the opportunity to learn and grow in the company of brothers and sisters in Christ who hold differing views on various issues, but with the same central commitment to Christ. This is invaluable: now more than ever we need a gracious ecumenism as we face the challenges of today’s secular world. I appreciate and value the work of the CAA and I can see how it has been very valuable for my ministry. And I must add that the fellowship offered by the CAA is very important as well: we can celebrate and enjoy our mutual interests here, which helps us encourage one another. In short, the CAA supports the work of the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.
We’re looking forward to building new partnerships as God opens the door with other apologetics ministries.
The CAA website:
Maryann Spikes, along with Arthur Khachatryan, Terrell Clemmons, Leslie Keeney, Nelis Ebersohn, and Sarah Abbey, have brought together a team of over fifty contributors to the CAA’s blog. We’ve had guest posts from, for instance, Dr. William Lane Craig. As another example, Jim Wallace, the author of Cold Case Christianity, contributes regularly.
At the CAA website, you can discover dozens of new authors and interesting posts at our website. And we’re about to launch a brand new, completely redesigned website in a few weeks.
A free training program
This isn’t available yet, but I wanted to give you something else to look forward to. We’ll be sharing the details with members of the CAA first. In the next few months, we’re going to roll out a basic course for people who want to be trained in Christian apologetics. This free program will guide people who are new to thinking about the reasons and evidence for Christianity to trusted, high-quality resources so they can get off to a great start.
How You Can Get Involved
Here’s what Dr. Paul Copan, a professor, author, and former president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society has to say about the CAA:
I am grateful to be part of the Christian Apologetics Alliance–a developing network of like-minded, apologetically-attuned believers from all walks of life. Though the spectrum of apologetics training and experience is indeed varied within the group, this affords marvelous opportunities for mentoring, further instruction in apologetics, and mutual encouragement. What’s more, the CAA’s members help broaden everyone’s exposure to important topics, current issues, and events related to Christian apologetics.
I am not able to mention everyone who regularly makes excellent contributions within the CAA – there are dozens and dozens of people! (Check out J.W.’s website, Wintery Knight, Mark McGee, Bobby Conway, David Marshall, etc., etc.). You’ll just have to join the community to meet everyone and learn more.
To keep our group strong, we’ve developed a really important document: our Statement of Faith and Discussion Guidelines. We aim to be a solidly orthodox and ecumenical group, united by a shared conviction that Jesus is Lord. So, for instance, without being political about it, we share resources for excellent thinking about a Biblical definition of human life and marriage.
In the CAA, we are eager to grow not only in knowledge but in maturity too. The goal isn’t having the right answers as much as it is learning to think well, building friendships, collaborating together, and understanding a carefully reasoned and holistic case for Christianity.
Our goal is to maintain a safe, welcoming, and supportive community that is filled with love for God, for one another, for our churches, and for the world. We believe that through the active practice of apologetics, the Holy Spirit will bring tens of thousands into a saving relationship with Jesus and grow them as disciples in the context of a local church.
By God’s grace, CAA members regularly share their stories of how the community has encouraged them. We thank God for their reports of how they have led their friends to faith, started new ministries, published excellent books, served their churches faithfully, and done amazing work for the Lord!
I truly love participating in this unique group. And it is a joy to mention just a few of the amazing resources within the community.
I’d love to have you join. Connect with the Christian Apologetics Alliance at our website.