After all, by any standard account, Jesus of Nazareth has been dead for over 2,000 years. To claim that He is not only alive, but God, and worthy of our complete worship and obedience, is to make a staggering claim. Think how strange this seems to those who do not yet believe!
So is it any wonder that many thoughtful skeptics have doubts?
Apologetics is about giving reasonable answers to honest questions. As humans made in God’s image, and as people who are called to honor God “…with all of our minds,” (Mark 12:30) we long to believe what is true.
Though this desire for truth is distorted, the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of Truth” (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit, by God’s grace, can restore our minds to use reason well and lead us to the One who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).
I believe that apologetics is an important component of the Christian community’s broader evangelistic responsibility. We are also called to pray, to proclaim the gospel, to love our friends, pursue justice, partner together as a whole church, practice unity, read the Bible with our nonChristian friends, and depend upon the providential work of God.
The Bible emphasizes that all of these activities are important in the work of evangelism.
So consider 1 Peter 3:15-16:
…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame
If the Bible is to be our guide in the work of evangelism, as in all matters, should we not also be prepared to explain the reasons why the Christian faith is true? In other words, why not also answer our skeptical friends’ questions?
One answer has often been that no one ever comes to faith through apologetics.
Well, I’d like to resolve that objection to using apologetics once and for all.
My goal in setting up this “apologetics testimonies” page is to provide a continually growing list of people who have come to faith in part through the study of apologetics.
I hope that those who doubt the value of apologetics will change their minds (and actions), that aspiring apologists will be encouraged to keep studying, and that seasoned apologists will share with us their stories of fruitful evangelism through the use of apologetics.
Did you come to faith after studying the evidence for and against Christianity?
Here are the stories:
- An Apologetics Class Led Me To Faith: Alex Smalls
- Natural Theology—The Path To God: Peter Schaefer
- The Case for Christ Led Me To Christ: Jonathan Minogue
- The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection: Chuck Edwards
- The Influence of Ravi Zacharias On A Former Drug Dealer: John Joseph
- Thermodynamics and God: Sam Harper
You might also enjoy some published autobiographies that highlight the role of reason in coming to faith in Christ:
- The Most Reluctant Convert: C.S. Lewis’s Journey to Faith by David Downing
- Not God’s Type by Holly Ordway
- Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber
- A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
Reasonable Faith, the ministry of Dr. William Lane Craig, has compiled many testimonies on their website. These frequently point to the impact of apologetics in either resolving the doubts of Christians or leading nonChristians to faith.
Want to get started in learning answers for your friends’ questions?