Research Part 5: Quantitative Results

We asked how open AIPs’ (Apologetics-Interested Persons’) pastors were to apologetics being taught in their churches. More than half said their pastors were at least moderately open to apologetics being taught in their churches. Almost a quarter of respondents said they didn’t know.

Figure 6

There was no significant association between respondents’ confidence in use of apologetics and their pastors’ openness to apologetics in church. For future research, it would be interesting to know how these AIP responses compare with those of church members who are not interested in apologetics.

We checked our theory about local supporting friendships through three quantitative comparisons. First, “How many people do you know of in your local church who share your interest in apologetics?”The results were fairly well distributed:

Figure 7

We also asked,“How many local friends would you say share your interest in apologetics?” Those results proved unusable, because we didn’t specify whether to include church friends or not, and the results seem to show that some respondents thought they should include those friends, others thought they shouldn’t.

Still the church-related connections show some interesting associations. As Figure 8 shows, there’s a distinct positive connection between local church connections with interest in apologetics, and respondents’ confidence in the use of apologetics.

Figure 8

Our second numerical comparison (cross-tab) showed that the number of church friends involved in apologetics is positively related to how long a person has been involved in apologetics.

The causal connection here is hard to specify, as it could go in various directions. The right kinds of friends could spark an earlier and longer-lasting interest in apologetics (which would be consistent with what we reported above).

Either that, or one who has had a long-term interest in apologetics might be better able to person to recruit others to that interest. Or something else might explain the relationship. Our data give us no way to tell what’s really going on behind the scenes here.

Figure 9

What about statistical significance?

Did you miss taking the survey? Want to add your voice? We’ve still got a place for you to do that.

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