Wednesday, August 08, 2012

10 Apologists You Should Invite

If you’ve thought of inviting an apologetics speaker to your church or event, you may have been a bit intimidated by the task. There are a number of considerations that come into play, ranging from the speaker’s qualifications, experience, and expertise, to the speaker’s fees and availability. These are important issues. The goal of this blog post is to suggest 10 great apologists that I think you should consider inviting to your church or event.

Before we look at the list, here are three reasons why these people are on it: Availability, affordability, and applicability. By availability, I mean that you’re going to have better luck getting these speakers than other more popular speakers whose schedules aren’t open. By affordability, I mean that most speaking fees are going to go up with the popularity and “draw” of the speaker. But most people don’t need an in-demand or “heavyweight” apologist for their purposes. By applicability, I mean that the skill-set, knowledge, expertise, and experience of these apologists fully meets or exceeds what is needed for most people’s needs. And finally, I believe these are good people that you can trust and put confidence in.
So here’s the list of 10 great apologists I think you should invite to speak at your church or event:
  1. Greg Koukl – Greg is the perfect first-choice to introduce apologetics to your church. Although I would consider him one of the best speakers and communicators, bringing him to your event or church is not something that’s going to be outside the budget for most churches or special events. More info.
  2. J. Warner Wallace – Jim would be my first choice for inviting to a men’s retreat or an apologetics weekend. He’s a great speaker and brings a cold-case detective’s perspective to apologetics. He’s winsome and knows his stuff. More info.
  3. Timothy McGrew – Tim is one of the sharpest thinkers you’ll ever meet—he’s a great scholar and teacher as well as excellent communicator. Ask him to speak on the reliability of the Gospels or historical evidence for the resurrection, just to get started. More info.
  4. Doug Groothuis – Doug knows apologetics, and he wrote a book that proves it. He’s also an excellent speaker to consider for addressing a wide variety of apologetic issues. More info.
  5. Peter S. Williams – Based in the UK, Peter is a careful philosopher (debating side-by-side with William Lane Craig), but also all about communicating the message of Jesus. Invite him to introduce your church to apologetics, or bring him to your university student group. More info.
  6. Lenny Esposito – Lenny is another apologist I would suggest for introducing your church to apologetics. He can speak to a wide variety of issues, is a capable debater, and good communicator. More info.
  7. Mary Jo Sharp – Mary Jo is also both an excellent communicator and capable debater. She can speak to your church or event on a variety of issues. She speaks to women’s groups too. More info.
  8. Brett Kunkle – Brett is one of my first picks for a youth event or university-based outreach. He’s got his hand on the pulse of the next generation, is familiar with a wide variety of issues, and can make complex ideas accessible to everyone. More info.
  9. Alan Shlemon – Alan, like Brett and Greg, is another Stand to Reason guy. (STR can be recommended simply across the board.) Alan’s particularly adept at addressing the issue of Islam, while able to hit a wide variety of topics, like all the STR guys. More info.
  10. Phil Fernandes – Phil is a great go-to man for a wide variety of apologetics topics. He’s a good debater, prolific lecturer, author, and excellent teacher. He’s also a pastor. He’s a perfect pick for speaking to other pastors (and their churches) about getting apologetics into the local church. More info.
By the way, some apologists will speak to your group via Skype (including myself). This may also be an option, though it may vary from speaker to speaker.
Are there other apologists to invite? Of course! These are just my quick-pick list of 10 that I would be confident recommending. Do you have a particular issue you need addressed and need a speaker? Let me know and perhaps we can offer further suggestions.


  1. Brian Auten August 8, 2012

    Jonathan Morrow should also be on the list! More info.

  2. Anonymous August 8, 2012

    Excellent list! Very glad to see the "Stand to Reason" organization represented so well!


  3. Chris August 8, 2012

    I'd also add Andy Bannister from RZIM ( to the list. Great speaker, familiar with a wide range of topics, we've used him for both university open forums and churches. Sharp thinker, quick debater, and a British accent too!

  4. Brian Auten August 8, 2012

    Yes, Andy's great.

  5. wju worship August 8, 2012

    Hit up Mikel Del Rosario!!

  6. Dan Rodger August 8, 2012

    These are all US based, what about for here in the UK…I'd love to see a list for that 😛

  7. Brian Auten August 8, 2012

    Ok. I'll keep that one in mind, Dan.

  8. Devin August 8, 2012

    And of course James White… 🙂

  9. Wayne MacKirdy August 9, 2012

    Gary Habermas on the resurrection, Alex McFarland for the youth

  10. Anonymous August 10, 2012

    In Australia I would add Barry Chant to the list

  11. Anonymous August 12, 2012

    I would like more suggestions for Australia 🙂 Thanks.

  12. Bryan August 13, 2012

    James White didn't make the list?!

  13. Brian Auten August 15, 2012

    There are dozens and dozens that are good apologists that are not on the list. Leaving them off says nothing of their quality or invitability as a potential speaker.

  14. Achulotsela Tsela August 16, 2012

    What can i say more than to THANK AND THANK AND THANK you Brian for your wonderful website. since 2009 i have been your website follower and regular listener of your interviews… let me tell you few things i gained checking in your website.
    1. Your website design is just fantastic!! i have open one blog that looks like yours in design… 🙂
    2. through your website, i have known at least 10 internationally acclaimed Christian philosophers and apologists… and more than 30 well known christian figures with different academic background…. and more! 🙂
    3. The links and websites you have in… and the 100 Christian Apologists are just WOW!!
    4. The best part of your website is the interview podcast. You know i feel like i have already talked to those scholars you interview when i listen your interviews.
    5.6.7…. I can go on listing more. All that to say, am thankful to God for your ministry.
    God bless you Brian !!!
    After 5-7 yrs am praying to start apologetic ministry in college campuses in particular and in church in general.. do remember me in your prayers!
    Jo India

  15. Anonymous July 15, 2013

    Nabeel Quereshi on Islam!

  16. Julia May 5, 2014

    Love that there are four of my Stand to Reason peeps on this list!