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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.