Faith Is Not Enough

“…always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…” 1 Peter 3:15 This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a part of the Southern Evangelical Seminary’s Apologetics Conference. This annual meeting now has an attendance of over 1500 students, Pastors and lay people. This year’s keynote speaker included the likes of Josh McDowell and one of the most gifted apologists today, William Lane Craig. These two men, along with various other speakers at the conference, are trying to awaken Christians to the fact that society’s secularism and new atheism needs to be addressed, and that requires apologetics. Apologetics, mistakenly defined as “being sorry for something,” comes from the Greek word “apologia,” which means to “give a defense” of something. In the case of Christian Apologetics, this means having a defense for the existence of God, the resurrection of Jesus, and more. Many times this can be seen as being “too intellectual” or disregarding the importance of faith. But the Bible calls us in the verse above to “give a defense” for our belief; to have answers for all the tough questions. If someone tells you, “There is no God,” how will you respond? Saying, “The Bible tells me so” is not a sufficient answer. This is not a defense of our belief, but a cop-out, sure to convince no atheist. Many youth and college students are being challenged daily by secularists teacher and atheist peers. Few, if any, are equipped to defend their belief and many will stray into doubt because of it. Even High School students and young teens are being swayed to atheism or relativism (whatever you believe is your truth) because no one has the ability to defend the actual truth! Christians will say they don’t have the time to study these things, or that subjects like “morality” and the “universe” are too lofty and over their head. While it does take time and focus, I believe learning to defend Christianity is a priority that deserves as much time as possible, for our sakes and our children’s. William Lane Craig that I mentioned before has a website with pages and pages of free resources. His website: www.reasonablefaith.org has answers to many of the tough questions. It is worth your time to visit it and read some of his material. He also has two podcasts that cover everything from the existence of God to the Resurrection of Jesus, all freely available. My passion for this subject grows every day, and I will try to write and share the little knowledge I have and am learning about this topic. I would love to hear your questions or experiences regarding defending the Christian faith, either by commenting below or writing me an email. I’ll leave you with one last thought. I’m currently reading the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It’s a fascinating insight into a complex and extremely intelligent man. One of the stories Jobs’ recounts is an exchange with the Lutheran Pastor of a church his parents attended. Steve brought the cover of a magazine to the Pastor, the picture of starving and poor children from an African country. Steve asked the Pastor, “If I raise my finger, will God know which one I’m going to raise even before I do it?” The Pastor replied, “Yes, God knows everything.” Holding up the magazine cover, Steve asked “Does God know about this?” “Steve, I know you don’t understand, but yes, God knows about that,” the Pastor said. Jobs said that he didn’t want to have anything to do with worshipping such a God, and he never went back to church. For the rest of his life, Jobs sought after a Zen-Buddhist lifestyle and dabbled heavily in eastern mysticism. If that Pastor had a solid defense of why there is suffering in the world, I believe Jobs’ life may have been very different. How many lives would be different if you had a solid defense to questions like these?