“Christianity is the source of all the world’s problems.” This was the answer I received one day while I was talking with college students about Jesus. This student was not antagonistic. His statement was a philosophy that he genuinely believed. “How?” I asked. At this point it was apparent he had not given much thought to his philosophy. He seemed to fumble around for answer before finally blurting out, “the crusades.” He is not unusual, many people hear a philosophy that sounds appealing and they adopt it into their own worldview before researching it. Of course occasionally there will be someone who has been diligent to research his or her worldview but for the most part this does not seem to be the case.
There are a few major reasons why every Christian should know apologetics. I am not an apologist, I am not great at debating, nor am I tremendously gifted with philosophy. I am also not a scientist; in fact my degree in college is rather unimpressive. However, I have learned from experience how valuable it is to know how to defend my faith and if I can learn anyone can learn.
So here are the top 5 reasons to study apologetics.
Reason #1 - You owe it to yourself. It is a part of the human condition to doubt. Having occasional doubts does not make someone a bad Christian. You will be strengthened in your faith when you learn of the amazing evidence that points to the truth of Christianity. Christians are not super spiritual if they believe that God requires them to just accept what they believe by “faith.” I remember a friend of mine was once told to, “Just read the Bible,“ when he asked how he could defend his faith against evolution. That might work for a Christian who believes that the Bible is trustworthy, but what about those who do not?
Reason #2 – You owe it to your children. They are bombarded with a secular worldview that will give them many reasons to question Christianity. If you as a parent are not providing them with evidence for Christianity it is very possible they will become part of the 80% of kids raised in a Christian home who reject Christianity in college.
Reason #3 – You owe it to the unbeliever. So many Christians do not share their faith because they are afraid that someone will ask them a question that they cannot answer. I have found that most unbelievers have many of the same objections to Christianity. Remember they generally accept something that sounds reasonable without research. If Christians would take the time to learn a few answers to those objections they might just break down the biggest barriers in an unbeliever’s life. Apologetics take research and practice; the more you step out and answer questions, the better you’ll get.
Reason #4 – You owe it to your walk with God. The Bible says to “Love the Lord your God…with all your mind…” (Mk 12:30 NIV). As you research the evidence for Christianity, your trust and love for God will grow. Paul writes, “And this is my prayer: that your love [for God] may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…” (Phil 1:9 NIV).
Reason #5 – Scripture commands it. Ed Hindson writes, “ The English term apologetics comes from the Greek apologia, meaning ‘to give an answer.’ Scripture itself urges us to ‘make a defense [apologia] to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you’ (1 Pet 3:15 NASB). Therefore, apologetics has its origin in the Bible itself.”[i]
A great apologetics resource to start with is I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. I pray that you are rewarded greatly as you begin.
Erin Herbst gave her life to Jesus Christ around the age of eight and has been joyfully serving the Lord since that time. Erin is happily married and has two young children with another on the way. She has been ministering to college students since 2004, with Master Plan Ministries. As well as being a wife, mother, and minister to college students she is also working toward a Master’s degree at Liberty University.
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[i] Ed Hindson, The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics: Surveying the Evidence for the Truth of Christianity, Eds. Ed Hindson and Ergun Caner (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2008) s.v. “Apologetics, Biblical.”