Bill Roach: The Pastor As Apologist

On May 2nd, 2019 I was asked to give the presidential address before the International Society of Christian Apologetics. I gave a message titled: The Pastor as Apologist & The Apologist as Pastor. 

The goal of the message was to address an intrinsic problem facing the apologetics movement. Specifically, I wanted to deal straight-forwardly with the topic of pastoral ministry and apologetics. I openly confess, even though I am an ordained minister and someone who has been trained to defend the Christian faith, I felt inadequate to handle the task of this message. Nonetheless, I spent nearly a year researching the topic and studying Scripture and historical theology to develop a message to address what I considered to be some of the most pressing issues related to pastoral ministry and apologetics.

One of my concerns with apologetics ministries is the fact that many apologists downplay or diminish the role of the pastorate. I have attended countless apologetics events over the years and I have never really heard anyone address the topic of pastoral ministry and apologetics (other than saying pastors need to be trained in apologetics. Even then, they didn’t give any specifics). Therefore, even though I would have enjoyed giving a lecture on a “traditional apologetic topic,” I felt compelled to address one of the greatest needs in apologetics; namely, I gave a bastion call for those in the apologetics community to recognize the local church and pastors as God’s means to achieve God’s end toward fulfilling both the apologetic mission and the Great Commission.

I argued for the following three theses:

  1. The Evangelical Church Must Recover the Lost Vision of the Protestant Pastor as Both Herald of God’s Word and Physician of the Soul.
  2. The Evangelical Church Must Uphold and Display the Protestant Pulpit.
  3. Evangelical Pastor-Apologists Must Be Committed to Preaching and Defending the Whole of the Christian Faith, For Only the Faith Once For All Given to the Saints is Saving Faith.

Here is a link to the video from the talk:

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