Monday, July 8, 2013

Defending the Faith by Mary Jo Sharp

Mary Jo argues that “Christian women need to be able to defend their faith with intellectual rigor and honesty.” (11) Therefore, women's ministries needs to include apologetics.

In this book she looks at:
reasons for knowing why you believe in God
how your beliefs affect your life
how your beliefs affect others
how to start everyday discussions on beliefs
what you can do in women's ministries
the importance of a woman's testimony.

Mary Jo writes from her own experience. She grew up agnostic and became a Christian at age twenty. About nine years later, she faced doubts about her belief. Convinced God would provide the answers she needed, she began to study apologetics.

Mary Jo says it is time for women to get serious with apologetics. Mothers are influential to their children and in this era, children need to see their mother with strong and well defended faith.

She shares the importance of learning how to think, of knowing how beliefs are formed and maintained, of doing deep thinking and tough theology, and of realizing how others (such as our children) perceive out faith.

This book is different than I was expecting from the title. This is not a book on apologetic techniques. You will not learn techniques for defending your faith although she does include many resources to do so. She does give suggested conversational questions to stimulate discussions with others.

Mary Jo's emphasis in this book is arguing that your church's women's ministry needs to include studies on apologetics. If you are a women's ministry leader, you need to read this book. If you are not a ministry leader, Mary Jo gives suggestions at the end of the book as to what you can do to encourage the incorporation of apologetic studies in your church.

You will be convinced that it is important for women to study apologetics. She writes, “Women will only live out genuine faith when they truly believe in God. They will only truly believe in God when they know Him. They will only know Him as they intellectually engage at a deeper level the issues of His existence.” (43)

If you want your women's group to be more than a shallow get together, I challenge you to read this book. It is time women got serious with knowing what they believe and knowing how to defend it. This book will get you going at incorporating deep and theological discussions into your women's ministry.

Mary Jo Sharp is director of the nonprofit apologetics ministry Confident Christianity, Inc. She holds an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University and is Assistant Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University. She speaks frequently throughout the year. Find out more about her at her blog,

Kregel Ministry, 144 pages. Publisher's product page.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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