This is a topic I’ve addressed before, but it came to mind again this morning. And I should stipulate, the issue is not with Christian apologists in particular, but with apologists generally. Indeed, as you will see anon, it could be with all sorts of speakers: this kind of dishonesty has no relationship, per se, with apologetics.
That said, I do see this dishonesty among Christian apologists. Indeed, I suspect I have been guilty of it myself, at times.
One more thing: this type of dishonesty is not, by any means, what I would call egregious, but it is misleading and thus is best avoided.
But that’s enough by way of set-up: what’s the problem?
The problem is when a person says something like this: “I was recently lecturing at Harvard University.” You see, while that may be literally true, the statement carries the clear implicature that one was lecturing under the auspices of Harvard University. In other words, one is lecturing at the invitation of Harvard and for Harvard’s community. Needless to say, that is impressive, not least because Harvard is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. If you’re invited to speak at Harvard, you must really be something!
Now here’s the reality: a student group at Harvard rented a room and invited you to speak to them. Still a great opportunity. And literally speaking, you still are lecturing at Harvard University. Nonetheless, you are not invited to lecture under the auspices of Harvard, at the invitation of Harvard, and for Harvard’s community. Thus, to describe your participation in this event with a description that carries prestigious implicature that you know to be false is dishonest.
So what you should say is something like this: “I was invited to lecture by a student group at Harvard.” That is not misleading and still impressive, even if it is not anywhere near as impressive as lecturing at Harvard simpliciter. But it is never worth it to buy your credibility by way of misleading and thereby deceptive description.