Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Christian Writer as an Apologist

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

The world recently lost one of the most respected of modern day apologists, or pre-evangelist, as they are sometimes referred. Ravi Zacharias traveled the world passionately using reason and evidence to bring the reality of Christ to those whose mantra often is, “Each person dictates what is true,” or, as scripture puts it, “They all did what was right in their own eyes.”

The foundational truth that apologists seek to covey is:
  • Truth exists
  • God exists
  • Miracles are possible
  • The Bible is historically true
  • Jesus has risen from the dead

How can a writer establish truth and communicate in ways that expose hatred and wrong thinking? Look no farther than the earthly ministry of Jesus, the greatest apologist of all time. He used reason and evidence to present truth. He challenged unbelief. He exposed errors. He defended the message of the gospel.

Jesus often illustrated His message through story—stories that captivated and taught truth. Stories that crashed through selfish motives into the hearts of His listeners, many of whom were only there to bait Him and try to expose Him as a fraud.

One such story is that of the Good Samaritan. A lawyer, who was trying to test Jesus and justify himself, asked Him, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered with the story of a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho who was viciously attacked, robbed, beaten, and left “half dead.” A priest saw him and passed by. Likewise, a Levite. Then came a Samaritan, hated by the Jews. It was the Samaritan who stopped and treated his wounds, then took him to an inn to recover, where he paid for his care. Jesus ends the story with a question, “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” The lawyer said, “He who showed mercy to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

As our nation reels from the senseless and cruel death of George Floyd, there are those who have hijacked legitimate and peaceful protests and turned them into rioting, violence, and looting—unmercifully destroying their neighbor’s businesses, livelihoods, and, sometimes even taking their lives. They ravage and leave “half dead” their neighbors and their property. Driven by hate, they pronounce a death sentence on all who seek to keep law and order because of the evil deeds of a few. 

How can we who know and love the Lord stand up to such evil as wandering mobs whose mission is to eradicate and destroy? We’ve only to look to Jesus and those who have gone before us. Our battle is always against sin that is perpetuated by evil. The Christian apologist does not allow sin to intimidate but, instead, faces the darkness. We humbly stand upright, armed with the Word of God and the words He has poured into our hearts. We boldly proclaim God’s truth. Truth that all races are a sacred gift from God. 

God’s first commandment is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Only by loving the Lord your God with all your heart and your soul can you keep the second commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Hatred cannot dwell in a heart that is yielded and possessed by God.

We are not told if the lawyer Jesus spoke with allowed Jesus to change his heart. But the message had been given, light pierced the darkness of his soul, and he had to choose to live in the light of God’s Word, or return to the place from which he had been. 

Still, we persevere. We place our readers into situations where they are allowed to experience truth. We pray that hardened hearts will be pierced by the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Changing hearts. Changing lives. Changing communities. We write. We pray. And we remember that following Christ often brings tribulation. Still, we continue to humbly bring His light and love to a world darkened by sin. For that is what we’re called to do. 


Emme Gannon is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves to write stories that stir the heart. Her award-winning writing has appeared in Focus on the Family magazine, several anthologies, and numerous newsletters. She just completed her first novel.


  1. Emme,

    I appreciate these important words about the apologetic aspects of our faith and life as a writer. It was convicting to me that I need to include more of this into my own writing. Thank you,

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

    1. Terry, thank you for your words. Your comments always encourage.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, JPC, for your comment and for stopping by. Be strong in the Lord during these difficult time.

  3. Wonderful post Ms. Emme. Thank you so much for all the encouragement you give ma'am. God's blessings.

    1. It's always a blessing to receive your kind words, J.D. Keep writing your edifying articles. We need the hope only Jesus gives.

  4. Beautifully written and full of encouragement. Thank you, Emme.

  5. I'm so glad you were encouraged, Tammy. Be strong in the Lord and keep writing. Blessings.

  6. Wonderful post with great insight. Ravi Zacharias left us a legacy to follow and inspiration to keep truth in our message.