I ran across Sarah Malcangi on LinkedIn. She studies Christian Apologetics and has written extensively and impressively on proving that Jesus Christ is the Savior. Her website has some great articles and essays on church history, the authenticity of the Bible, and on God. I had the privilege to interview her. Her answers are in bold with her initials SAM.
I read your testimony on your website and it is really amazing to see how God can change someone’s life like that. How important do you think it is to hold onto our personal testimonies?
SAM: Thank you, that is an excellent question. Our personal testimonies are important because they can serve as reminders throughout our lives. I think it’s important for a story like mine because it has served as lessons and for me it was imperative I worked through was God was doing in my life. But I still remember what I endured with God’s help and it has played a big role in who I am today.
For me, during different life seasons, I hold onto to a particular Bible verse that is relevant for that time in my life. What’re some scriptures you have held onto whether now or in the past?
SAM: The Lord saved me through Psalm 139. I tend to cling to many Psalms and particularly Psalm 91:1 during difficult times. The first verse I taught my son was Isaiah 41:10 and the one verse I cling to that reminds me who I am is 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Beside writing Apologetics, you are also a mother. Tell us a little bit about your family.
SAM: Yes, I’m a Mom to an 8 year old son. We have been blessed to and have lived in many states such as California, Hawaii, and Colorado. Currently, we live in the beautiful state of Colorado.
I am curious, when did Christian Apologetics become a passion in your life?
SAM: I was raised by an atheist so searching for evidence started early in my life. It started when my father would tell me that there was no God. That answer never set well with me so I would read about what other people thought about heaven, the afterlife, and a creator. However, I didn’t start seriously studying apologetics until 2010. I was watching the television show and heard Sean McDowell talking about apologetics. It was at this time that I discovered all the material and questions I was after actually had a name. The term apologetics is the study of defending the faith and that is what I was always looking for…explainations for why we believe what we believe.
Who are some Apologetic teachers and philosophers that you read frequently?
SAM: There are so many but to name a few of my favorites: C.S. Lewis, Gary Habermas, Michael Licona, J. Warner Wallace, Lee Strobel, Ravi Zacharias, Nabeel Qureshi, John Lennox, and William Lane Craig.
Is their one, besides yourself of course, that you could recommend for someone, who say, did not study Theology?
SAM: It really depends on what a person wants to learn about. The world of apologetics is large. There are some books that combine a combination of different subjects such as R.C. Sproul’s book Defending Your Faith or C.S. Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity. Lee Strobel also has a series of books such as The Case for a Creator.
Moving on to your own works, have any articles of yours been published in print?
SAM: Yes, my testimony has been published (and printed) with an Australian magazine called Mici Magazine.
Your website is very impressive. How long has you been operating it?
SAM: Thank you! I’ve had it for a few years. I’ve always been writing on various blogs and my passion for the truth just evolved into my current site.
When you first started this journey, did any of your family, friends, and/or co-workers think this was a waste of time?
SAM: Oh, of course. I remember a conversation I had with my mom about 10 years ago and she laughed because I had become a “blogger”. And that’s okay if people think that way. I don’t view myself as a blogger. I just write about issues that are important to me and I don’t write in order to gain subscribers or followers, instead I just want to encourage people to think about the truth and to work through their doubts or questions.
One article in particular, Was Jesus Really God Or Just A Lunatic sticks out to me. It was very well thought out. What kind of research and preparation goes into an article like that one?
SAM: Thank you! That particular article was inspired by conversations I had with people. Non-belivers normally refer to Jesus as just a great teacher or that he was crazy. C.S. Lewis wrote in his book Mere Christianity that people must not accept Jesus to be just a great moral teacher because he is much more than that. In order to prepare for this article I researched what people were saying happened to Jesus during the time of the resurrection. Records show that Jesus appeared to hundrends of people in resurrected form. With that many people (both believers and non-believers) we cannot assume this was some sort of mass delusion. We have first hand accounts and we cannot dismiss them as fables. Further, it’s important to understand how people during Jesus’ time thought of him. This article I wrote isn’t an exhaustive explaination but I hope it encourages people to ask questions and keep searching for the truth.
Any articles or essays there you are especially proud of?
SAM: I write a lot of essays for school as I’m in my last year of bible school at Colorado Christian University. Many of these articles and essays I don’t publish on my website. There is one in particular I am proud of such as the Creationism vs. Evolution Debate. There is also an Apologetics essay I wrote last summer and at some point I will be publishing it on my website. And of the articles on my blog I am proud of my latest post Do All Paths Really Lead to God? As well as Did God create Us or Did We Create God?
Is there a particular topic you enjoy covering the most?
SAM: I love writing about the differences between religions. Recently I have been writing a lot about Islam. Further, many times people who do not consider themselves to be religious think that all religions are the same. I love writing about why they are so different and are in conflict with one another. I also love writing about truth. I hear so often that the word truth is over used as if we all can have our own truth. But the fact is there can only be one truth for everyone and I love talking about that.
You are a member of the Christian Apologetics Alliance. Tell us a little bit about them and the kind of work that they do.
SAM: It’s an Alliance of Christian apologists commited to defending the Christian faith. We talk about apologetic related issues and they also produce a great quarterly magazine called “Equipped”.
How long have you been a member?
SAM: Since July 2014.
Now, I almost hate to ask this, but certain sects of Christianity look down on a woman in a leadership role, even in something as important as Apologetics. Have you ever faced this kind of push back and how did you overcome it?
SAM: The number of women involved in apologetics is still quite small and it has been my experience that people have not realized the importance of apologetics in the church. There are some churches that have embraced apologetic teaching which is great for learning how to be culturally relevant yet bold in teaching the gospel.
There seems to be a huge divide among Christians, especially in the US in regards to Catholics, Protestants, and Evangelicals. What do you see as a uniting factor?
SAM: I believe it’s important to remember what unites us and that is Jesus Christ. It’s imperative that we remember that we are united because of Jesus Christ and to keep reading the scripture for guidance.
There has some been a minor movement in Christianity promoting the disregard of the Bible. Especially the Old Testament, but more shockingly, some have even suggested the pre-resurrected words of Christ can be ignored. In my opinion, this is very dangerous. How can we educate pastors and leaders in the importance of the Bible as a whole?
SAM: The good news is that this is a minor movement. It is dangerous to disregard any part of the bible and we cannot throw out the Old Testament just because some people think it is outdated. It is all important and vital to every Christian’s life. No words of Christ should be ignored in any way nor should we disregard the canon. Pastors and church leaders should learn how the biblical canon was formed. Learning about the bible is a lifelong process so we mustn’t think a degree in theology or biblical studies means that we have it all figured out. Leaders in the church need to always be reading the bible by themselves as well as with other Christians. It isn’t a mistake what we read in the bible today and we have scripture that warns us against changing the bible, Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32, and Revelation 22:18-19. And we cannot forget 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”.
Now, off-topic, but I am curious. Is there a book by Sarah Malcangi in the works? If so, could you tell us a bit about it?
SAM: Eventually, yes. I can tell you it is an apologetics based book that talks about my conversion to Christianity. I went on a truth quest when I was younger so I will outline what evidence I found on many other religions. I will also talk about some entertaining stories of my youth.
Moving forward, what help is there for the average Christian who might know about the historicity of the Bible? How can they get involved in helping the case for our faith?
SAM: First, ask your church if they have anyone (possibly an elder) that has studied this topic. It is always great to have a mentor that can teach as well as guide you. It can be daunting to study the historicity of the Bible. Additionally, there are great apologists that are experts in this field so I would suggest reading Gary Habermas and Michael Licona. Although you don’t need to have a doctorate degree to defend the faith it is important to research this topic heavily. There are many christian small groups and starting an apologetics small group or joining an existing one is always a great start.
One final question, what inspires you? When you research an article or write about a topic, what drives you forward?
SAM: The thing that inspires me is hearing about people who are living out the gospel in some drastic ways. Like when a college kid decides to accept Jesus Christ as Lord, all well knowing that this kid won’t have a family to go back to. This kid will have to depend on his brothers and sisters in Christ. That drastic faith is what inspires me and when researching an article I try to bring to life how the story is real and how real Jesus is. It’s happening more often now around the world and it takes courage to walk away from everything you’ve ever known. Another thing that inspires me is when I talk to people about their beliefs. Many times they are non-believers or people who view parts of Christianity as attractive. Talking to these people drives me forward because it allows questions to unfold that I wouldn’t have thought about had I not had the opportunity to talk to others. Talking to people urges me to research a particular topic and I love research. These people also help me to think deeper about my own faith and that is exciting!
That concluded our interview. It was such a pleasure getting to know Mrs. Malcangi. She is the real deal and truly knows her stuff. I also found out something. Today is her birthday! Happy Birthday, Sarah and thank you for taking the time to do this interview!
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