Allen Crostic lead a workshop on Apologetics and Evangelism at the Richmond Noble Man Conference. We recently caught up with Allen to get to know him a little better, talk about the topic of his workshop, and how to handle those tough spiritual conversations.
Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been in ministry and what is your ministry passion?
I grew up in strong Christian family but I was agnostic around my late teen early college years. I really started to really think critically about my faith for the first time. I had a lot of confusion… I wasn’t sure what I believed or if God existed in general. I came out of that whole process helped tremendously by Apologetics. That became a real passion of mine. I went to seminary later on and got my Masters of Arts in Apologetics.
Since then, I have been teaching at my church and various locations ever since 2011. For this last workshop, I taught this class on tactics for those who maybe don’t have all the knowledge but want to know how to navigate conversations when these spiritual topics come up.
Tell us why your topic is important to you and should be important to men.
I think it’s important to men because sharing our faith isn’t just some peripheral item. It’s the Great Commission. Go out and make disciple of all nations. (Matt. 28:19-20) Jesus came so that we can change this world and we can’t change this world unless we know how to engage others and talk to them about our faith, but so many are so afraid to do that. A lot of people, when they think evangelism, think you need to take the initiative… but these conversations are going to arise whether you initiate them or not. If they are going to arise, wouldn’t you kind of like to know what to say?
What is one key nugget or tool you want the guys in your workshop to take home and apply?
It’s not your job to disprove the claim, it’s their job to prove it. Reverse the burden of proof. The burden of proof is the responsibility someone has to give evidence or an argument for their position. It’s not just enough for them to state it. The rule in any conversation, no matter what you’re talking about, is whoever makes the claim bears the burden. So many times we think we always need to be on the defense. That’s not true. Whoever make the claim bears the burden. It’s not your job to disprove their claim, it’s their job to prove it.
Greg Koukl says this a lot. Sharing our faith is more like baseball. When someone gets up to go bat, their immediate goal is not to win the game. They realize that’s an extended process that takes team effort. Their immediate goal is to get a hit and connect with the ball. So, my goal isn’t to “lead someone to the cross” every time, but my immediate goal is to put a rock in their shoe, to give them something worth thinking about, something to poke at them in a good way because they can’t ignore it.
Could you recommend a resource that would be helpful for men who’d like to take the next step?
Yes, everything I mentioned in my workshop, but specifically Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing your Christian Convictions by Greg Koukl.
Testimonies from Workshop Participants:
Excellent. Please have some apologetic classes every year for everyone to have the option to attend. As much as leadership / discipleship classes are needed, Christians need to be able to defend their faith before leading. This apologetic workshop was an intro and I would love to see more like it next year.
Excellent workshop! Great speaker.
Thought it was interesting and challenging. I am not confrontational and many times will shy away from hard conversations.
Allen was point on with his presentation, I was really impressed with his reference.
Was excellent and packed full of info.
I learned a lot about how to handle skeptics with some very basic and tried methods. I loved the class he did a great job!
I really enjoyed his workshop and felt it to be the most impactful part of my day.
Good, confident speaker. Walked away learning quite a bit on the apologetic view of planning for difficult talks.