Apologetics: Relevant in Non-Western Cultures?

This is not an essay. This is not a well-researched article.

This is only a random thought of a clueless man.

As a student of the Bible, I’ve been spending several years reading and learning about Christian apologetics. Only recently have I observed that people in my circle (mostly Asian) rarely find the relevance of what I’ve been learning. They don’t ask why I think God exists, they don’t ask why there is evil if God exists, they don’t ask why I believe in the Bible when science yells ‘Evolution!’. Those who ask these questions are usually they who have been influenced by Western thoughts, either from school or family backgrounds. Even when they do, they rarely find the answers appealing or relevant enough to make them believe. Even those who already believe didn’t ask these things before they decided to believe. So, what’s up with this?

Can it be that apologetics has no place in non-Western cultures? Can it be that members of non-Western cultures are more interested by the story that we offer rather than by the apology for the ‘holes’ in the story? Can it be that they are interested, neither by the story or the apology, but by the life of the community (many cultures are a lot more community-focused than the Western culture)? What do we make of this, then? Do we need a non-Western version of apologetics (e.g. Asian apologetics)? Or do we simply deem apologetics as irrelevant? Is there no place for apologetics in non-Western cultures? Do we simply practice relational evangelism and abandon the apologetical aspect of evangelism?

My head has been full of these questions for weeks. Any thoughts?


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