Josh McDowell’s 3-Pillar Approach to Apologetics

Many people ask me, “Josh, you’re an apologist. So why do you talk now about sex and pornography?

Here’s why:

I believe the rapid decline of our society demands it. I am, indeed, a classical apologist. But I must now focus on relational and moral apologetics as well, if I am to fully share God’s truth.

Let me explain these three pillars further:

As an evidential apologist I share evidence that confirms the truthfulness of the Bible. The term “apologist” actually means “to set forth positive reasons why you believe.” I believe, with all that I am, that Jesus is who He says He is, because God’s Word can be trusted. Though I started out a disbelieving skeptic, it has been God’s call on my life, for the last 50 years, to share the evidence that supports both of these claims!

But here’s the problem: I recognized, years ago, that when we try to present truth outside of the context of relationships, it’s so often rejected. So I can’t just be focused on the evidence itself, but on whether people are in productive relationships — an established foundation of trust, openness, and acceptance — to have productive conversations about God.

Here’s the phrase I created to express this: Truth without relationships leads to rejection. So I want to help people to build good relationships with each other. I especially want parents to have these relationships of trust with their kids, so our youth won’t disregard God’s truths. I call this relational apologetics.

I also discovered that the number one barrier that keeps a young person from trusting Christ, God, or the Scriptures is morality. That’s why I launched the “Why Wait” campaign years ago. Today,  the greatest barrier to a person coming to Christ is pervasive internet pornography, which has become a huge societal problem — even inside the Church. We must address porn addiction head-on, if Christianity is to maintain a positive influence in society.

Journey Together

Join us as we ask these questions together:

“Why am I here?”
“What is truth?”
“Why should I believe this truth?”
“How does this truth affect my everyday life?”