A Faith Worth Fighting For
By Andrew Herbst
An Intro to Christian Evidences
In the spring of 2014 I was sitting in a history class at Minnesota State University listening to my professor tear down the Book I had based my entire life on.
She taught that Moses never wrote the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible), how the Bible was a collection of myths, and how the books of the Bible were not written in the era of History that they claimed to be from. Each lesson and argument against the Bible cast doubt on the truthfulness of Scripture.
Her attacks against the Bible lacked even the smallest amount evidence. But with phrases like, "you probably didn't learn this in Sunday School," or "I'm not trying to be religious, just historical," my professor promoted the Bible as man made literature to be studied, not as an inspired book to pattern your life after.
It's common to hear attacks against the Bible on a daily basis. Advocates of evolution claim science proves the Bible is corrupt, and teachers at all academic levels seek diversity to the destruction of Christian values. A student starting a P7 club recently brought a question to my attention. Her classmate, a professing Wiccan, asked her "what makes Christianity better than witchcraft?" Another classmate had issued a similar challenge, saying "What makes Christianity better than Atheism?" The looming questions in our culture require Apostolics, as Jude put it, to earnestly contend for the faith..."
1 Peter 3:15 instructs us, saying ,"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." The phrase, "To give an answer", comes from a single word in the Greek that means to give a defense of your position. To those who may feel overwhelmed by the task of defending all of Christianity, have no fear! There is an entire field of study committed to answering those "looming questions" of culture that you and I deal with on an ever increasing basis. This practice is called "Apologetics". You aren't alone in your quest to stand up to the attacks being made on your faith, and even better, we're called specifically to do just that.
Apologetics is the means by which we can respond to these challenges and equips us to answer critical question against the faith.
New Testament examples of apologetics aim at removing doubt concerning the claims of Scripture. For example, Luke assured a fellow Christian named Theophilus that the Gospel of Luke was confirmed by eyewitnesses. Luke told his friend that his purpose in writing was that Theophilus might "know the certainty of those things," that he had been taught concerning Christ (Luke 1:1-4). 1 John 1:1-4 declares that the Apostles hear, saw, and handled the Word of Life. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15 also used apologetics to answer doubts about the Resurrection. He stated over 500 people saw the risen Jesus, many of which were still alive. These witnesses could silence any attacks against our Savior's resurrection.
But how can modern day Christians follow the Apostle's example? First, the goal of apologetics is to point people to Christ. The second goal, as apologist Edward J. Carnell wrote, is to remove any excuse the critic offers for not believing in the Bible. Future articles hope to reach the second goal, and tackle critical objections to Scripture.
As for the first goal, let George Whitefield teach us a lesson. He is considered to be the greatest preacher of the 1700's, and a leader in the Great Awakening. Reverend Whitfield, known as a fiery preacher, ministered to thousands in outdoor services. One day a prominent atheist by the name of David Hume went to hear Rev. Whitefield. A spectator recognized Hume, and empathetically said, "You don't believe in the Bible, so why are you here? Hume replied, "I do not, but he does," and pointed to the preacher.
We can be a witness to even the hardest of hearts when we unashamedly preach the truth in opposition to worldly culture. When you share the truth with a coworker, you become a defender of the Christian faith. When you share the truth with your classmate, or a lost family member, you become a Christian Apologist. Pointing people to Christ & helping them building trust in Scripture is not just a goal of Apologetics but it MUST become the foundation of our evangelistic efforts. What if we viewed every "attack" on our faith as an opportunity to provide a lost soul with answers. Its time for believers to rise to the challenge of answering critical questions against the faith and fulfill the great commission of sharing truth with the world.
"If Christianity is not worth defending, what is?"
-Edward J. Carnell