I love to play golf!! I love the challenge of banging that little white ball around the course. I own books, subscriptions to magazines and video series all dedicated to improving every aspect of my game. This summer, I noticed my putting needed improvement so I decided to watch a video on putting. The instructor said, “In order to be a good putter you must have confidence.” I thought, “Of course I need confidence! That is the reason I am watching this video.” He went on, “In order to gain confidence, you need evidence. You need to see the ball going into the hole over and over. That is what builds confidence.”
After that video, I thought, “How could this apply to my Christian worldview?” For me to have confidence in my Christian worldview, their must be evidence for it. Enter the world of Apologetics: The defense of the Christian faith. The apologist offers positive evidence for the claims of Christianity and answers common objections against it. Every Christian should study apologetics because of the benefits it brings.
Benefit#1 – It helps you know why you believe what you believe. Most Christians get their beliefs from other people and they are inept to articulate clear reasons for believing that Christianity is true. Apologetics equips a person to think thoughtfully and carefully about what it is they believe and are able to offer support for their view.
Benefit #2 – It equips you to love God with your mind. God gave us our minds and he expects us to use them. One does not get bonus points with God for being a stupid Christian. Now this does not mean that you must be a Theologian with several books published. But it does mean that we should know some things about Christianity, namely basic Christian doctrine.
Benefit #3 – It builds your confidence. Just like the instructor on the putting video mentioned, the more evidence you see for the existence of God, the evidence for the reliability of scripture and the historical evidence surrounding the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the more you build your God-confidence (I like this word better than the word faith).
Benefit #4 – It prepares you to dialogue with those who have an opposing viewpoint. I enjoy talking with atheists and skeptics. They keep me on my toes. But I also know, I am obligated as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth to share the gospel. However, many skeptics and unbelievers have hang-ups, issues and misconceptions about Christianity and my preparedness helps we clear the way for them to consider the Gospel. The Apostle Paul gives an example of this in Acts 17.
So Christians, read books like I Don’t Have enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norm Geisler and Frank Turek or On Guard by William Lane Craig, or More than a Carpenter by Josh and Sean McDowell to get you going. Then practice the strategies listed within to share the evidence you have learned. That, will build your Confidence!!