Know Your Southern Baptists: Mary Jo Sharp
Name: Mary Jo Sharp
Why you’ve heard of her: She is a leading Christian apologist, professor, author and debater. Recently, she has authored several apologetics-focused Bible studies, including contributing to The Gospel Project’s “A God-Centered Worldview.”
Previous: She has been in full-time ministry (youth and worship ministries) with her husband since 1996 and was the first female to become a Certified Apologetics Instructor with the North American Mission Board. Sharp was also a public school band director for eight years.
Books: She is an author and contributor to several books, including In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture, Why Do You Believe That, Defending the Faith: Apologetics in Women’s Ministry, and Come Let Reason: New Essays in Christian Apologetics.
Why she’s important: Early in ministry, Sharp began to doubt her belief in God. These doubts were fueled by hurtful experiences with church members and by her own lack of depth in understanding her professed beliefs. As she began to look for answers to her questions about God’s existence, Sharp stumbled into studying Christian apologetics and began to teach it in her own church.
It has been just over a decade since Sharp began to doubt what she believed and in that time she has been featured as a speaker across North America and internationally, as well. Sharp has participated in two public formal debates with Muslims, one in a mosque in Toronto. She has also published articles in the Christian Research Journal, Outreach Magazine, Facts & Trends, and the Areopagus Journal.
Currently, she is working with HBU in establishing the new apologetics degree. Sharp also serves as an executive council member for the Evangelical Philosophical Society.
“You will live what you truly believe.”
“Women need to know that the church is a place where they can ask questions, share doubts, and find answers. Additionally, they must be able to do so without ridicule.”
“We want to free people to think, not shackle them into towing a party line.”
“How can we profess to follow the greatest Teacher who ever lived, if we do not have a lifelong commitment to learning?”
“Christians are so busy answering questions, they forget to ask questions.”
Others in the “Know Your Southern Baptists” Series: