Category Archives: Apologetics

Understanding Belief Blockers

Belief blockers are issues or ideas that stop people from considering the Christian gospel and changing their worldview in acceptance of it – ie become and stay a Christian.
As a ministry staff team we have been doing some thinking about this in our most recent professional in-service. Now the most recent study of Belief Blockers in Australian society can be found in the Australian Communities Report. It is worth buying a copy! Or you could always download the summary at Report Summary

When it comes to understanding Belief Blockers, it is worth keeping the following formula in mind:

Size of Belief Blocker = Intellectual objection + Outrage

To understand both components:
the intellectual objection is a rational, often fact based component to belief block, and outrage is an irrational, often emotional component.

Christians and churches, in general, tend to attack belief blocks from the intellectual objection angle and have left the outrage alone. However, we are finding that outrage will often be the main component to the Belief Block. For example, church abuse is a significant (# 1) belief blocker primarily because it has both an intellectual objection and a significant moral and emotional outrage component. In fact, the emotional response to the thought “what if this abuse happened to me or to someone I love?” may well be a far stronger source of blockage than the intellectual objection emotions alone.

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What is apologetics (an analogy)?

“To use an analogy found in the writings of Martin Luther, faith is like getting in a boat Boats at Caboand crossing the sea to an island.  Apologetics can help establish that it is reasonable to believe there is a boat, that it is likely to be safe to travel in, and that there is an island just beyond the horizon.  But you still need to get in the boat and travel to the island.  Faith is about commitment to God, not just a belief in God.  Once more, this is a difficulty that can be avoided by realising apologetics and evangelism are essential and interconnected partners in Christian outreach.”

Alister E. McGrath, Mere Apologetics, 24.