MARILYN JOY TYNER
As a Christian apologist, I am blessed and honored to teach, write, speak, and blog—all with the goal of promoting the gospel of grace, defending the faith, and helping “spiritual POWs” journey to the cross. I appreciate this ministry calling because, in today’s battle for ideas, we face new and continuing challenges to the Christian faith.
I’m delighted when people ask how I got into the field of apologetics because it’s interwoven with my story of coming to faith in Christ. Basic apologetics played a vital role. Here’s the condensed version of my turning point….
My Personal Journey
When I resigned from my job as a litigation paralegal years ago, I was accepted at UC Irvine to pursue a master’s degree in social ecology. At the same time, I found myself in a spiritual quest for truth and meaning. Our gracious God was getting my attention through hardships in my life. One day I accepted an invitation to join a women’s Bible study, yet I had honest intellectual questions about Christianity. The inspired worship music and Scriptures began flooding my soul. Yet I thought, If I’m going to give my whole life to God, I first need to know “Is the Bible really the words of God?” and “Is Christianity the one true religion?”
A friend at that Bible study recommended that I listen to a call-in radio show ,“The Bible Answer Man.” I tuned in daily, thrilled to hear discussions on the overwhelming evidence for Christianity. On one unforgettable afternoon, John 3:3 resonated in my heart. Jesus spoke to me, “You need to be born again in order to enter God’s kingdom.” With a joyful heart, I went for a walk in my neighborhood park, lifted up a simple prayer of surrender, and experienced God’s love. I became spiritually alive in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17)! Enamored with my Redeemer and fascinated with theology, I switched my educational gears. I entered Simon Greenleaf University where I earned a master’s degree in Christian Apologetics. Concurrently, I graduated from Bible College (and I’m still attending that Friday-morning women’s Bible study!).
My Ministry Calling
Soon after graduation, I presented church seminars on defending the Christian faith. I wrote my pilot apologetics pamphlet on “What Sets Christianity Apart from ‘Religion’ and Religious Philosophies?” My pastor prayed with me about writing more such pamphlets, and I did. Eventually my church published the first four in full-color graphics. I also began writing colorful gospel tracts. In 2006, I founded TRUE-WAY TRACTS® (TrueWayTracts.com), which produces Christian apologetics briefs and gospel tracts and distributes them worldwide. Recently, I also authored two books (see below). In retrospect, I see that God had a plan. For example, when I worked as a litigation paralegal in my pre-Christian days, I gained analytical and investigative skills (something God knew I’d need all along!). For it prepared me to condense issues in theology and apologetics, and to pursue and defend truth.
By God’s grace, I’ve authored a series of ten highly endorsed apologetics briefs, which are available in the TWT online store either individually or as an “Apologetics 10-Pack.” (Endorsements are listed under the “Beliefs and Mission” link.) These large colorful pamphlets present compelling evidence in a nutshell, to answer unbelievers’ questions as well as skeptics’ challenges (see 1 Peter 3:15). They end with the gospel message and a salvation prayer. These handy go-to tools are used for evangelism and for equipping Christians. Titles include “Can a Loving God Allow Pain and Suffering?”, “Is the Bible the Infallible Word of God?”, and “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” One of these briefs (“Is Truth Relative or Objective?”) is especially effective for witnessing to relativists and atheists. Also available in the TWT store is an extra-large brief (Biblical Inerrancy: Hearing the Very Heart and Mind of God through Scripture) endorsed by Dr. Norman L. Geisler. (It is also published in Hope’s Reason Journal of Apologetics, Vol. 6.)
My Apologetic-Devotional Book
AWESOM-AZING GOD: Know Him, Love Him, Proclaim Him showcases the magnificent attributes of the biblical God through ninety-nine thirst-quenching devotions. Ten titles of God touch on all the twenty-five classic attributes of God (as taught in Scripture and presented in Dr. Norman L. Geisler’s Systematic Theology in One Volume).
Each chapter also features eye-opening apologetics, for readers to share with searchers and skeptics so they too can see He is the Living God. As depicted by the waterfall on the cover, whenever someone opens the pages of Scripture with a seeking heart, he or she meets with the divine Author and “living water” begins flowing (Heb. 4:12). I am thankful that this book has been endorsed by top Christian leaders and apologists, including Josh McDowell and Norman L. Geisler. A corresponding Study Guide is also available. (For expanded book descriptions, see the BOOK page on this blogsite or go to TrueWayTracts.com and click on the book images in the Home Page store.)
Free Apologetics Downloads
It is my pleasure to offer apologetics in a tract format as free downloads on the EVIDENCES page of this blogsite. You can use them to answer challenging questions by unbelievers or to strengthen the faith of new believers. If you visit the TRUE-WAY TRACTS website, you can view all my evangelistic publications with descriptions, by clicking on the Home Page icons. Apologetics Briefs are the glossy four-fold brochures (8-1/2” X 16”) with full-color graphics and 2,000 to 2,500 words of text. In contrast, the somewhat smaller Apologetics Tracts are attractive yet non-glossy brochures (8-1/2” X 14”) with black ink on colored paper, containing 1,700 to 1,900 words of text. (The “tracts” are often used for mass distribution.)
Teaching and Speaking
It is my joy to speak at conferences, colleges, and women’s events. I’ve presented various apologetics workshops at women’s leadership conferences, written college-level apologetics curricula and co-taught Apologetics 101. I spoke at the first women’s online apologetics conference (sponsored by Athanatos Ministries), and led a workshop at the annual EMNR conference in CO (Evangelical Ministries to New Religions). I presented a breakout session at the Inaugural Women in Apologetics Conference (“WIA”) at Biola University in CA, and spoke at their next two annual conferences. I’m a member of the speaking team for CAA (Christian Apologetics Alliance). I also enjoy leading women’s “Living Water Retreats” and presenting one-day church seminars for women on the topic of evangelism today.
(To read my interview with Dr. Sean McDowell, go to the BLOG page and see my post “Women in Apologetics Today.” To review my event flyers or to schedule a speaking engagement, go to the SPEAKING page.)
Marilyn earned an MA degree in Christian Apologetics from Simon Greenleaf University (acquired by Trinity International University). She holds a BA degree in English from Cal State University Fullerton and a second BA in Biblical Studies from Calvary Chapel Bible College. She also holds a lifetime teaching credential in Adult Education from the State of California.