How to answer the tough questions
How many times have you been put on the spot by an unbelieving friend, family member, or coworker who has a question about the Bible? How many times in those situations do you feel completely overwhelmed and not ready to have that conversation? How many times have you felt clueless how to answer someone about your faith?
The above questions should strike a chord in all of us, unless you are “Super-Bible-Man” who has all of the answers given to you at salvation…..which doesn’t happen. God doesn’t save us only to have us lazily stroll through the next years of our lives hoping that we don’t have to answer any questions.
Reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.
This is a legal term. In the time of Koine Greek (Language of the NT) the defense given in a court case would have been an Apologea which is where we get this word. Think of it as a court defense. Logical, rational, and persuasive.
What it is.
1. It is logical
2. It is reasonable
3. It is something that makes sense on its own
4. It’s instructed in Scripture
What it is not
2. Driven by anger
3. Based solely on emotion
4. A reason to act superior or beat someone over the head.
Over the next few blogs (save for Wednesdays, that’s Heckler days) I’m going to go through different facets of Apologetics, and how you can use it to reach people for Christ. In college one of my professors vehemently said that apologetics is not evangelism. On the surface that statement could be taken as okay. The problem with this unhealthy delineation though is that it breeds a fear of using apologetics in evangelism. Fear of trying to convince someone of the truth. It’s silly now because we do this in every other facet of conversation. The spirit works through apologetics just as well as the “Romans Road.”
Sure if you have a self-righteous attitude that basically only cares about winning an argument, then no, apologetics is not evangelism. Conversely though, if done in the right spirit with the right attitude, apologetics can be one of the best tools to reach the most skeptical of hearts.
Josh McDowell tells a story about a group of youth pastors talking to him after a conference. One of their students runs up to the conversation and says, “You asked how we know the Bible is true? It’s true because I believe it!” Josh said the worst part wasn’t the answer, but the congratulatory comments of the youth pastors.
The Bible’s truth is not contingent on whether you believe it or not. It’s these kind of answers that get us into trouble. Basically you are validating truth based on what you arbitrarily believe. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that’s in us. That answer needs to be something with substance. The answer needs to be something that will make people think. The answer needs to be reasonable and logical.
The question now is why do you believe what you believe? Why do you have faith in Christ? Here’s the rub any of the following answers can be applied to Islam, Hinduism, or even Atheism. Here are some of the worst offenders.
> Because I believe it.
> Because that’s what my pastor says
> That’s how I was raised
>That’s what my parents believe
>That’s what Christians are supposed to believe
> It just feels right
You may look at this list and think you are way above any of these answers, (which is a fantastic thing by the way) but somewhere someone you know, maybe a student in your ministry has this line of thought.
The reason that I even bring this part up is that these same people are the ones who when they graduate from high school and sit in their first college class are bowled over by what the professor says. They don’t know how to answer the tough questions, and sure enough will leave their faith behind because they didn’t have any substance.
People need substance. We can’t give fluff anymore. We have to teach people how to answer the tough questions if we want them to grow and be effective. We have to be able to answer the tough questions ourselves if we want to share the Gospel with others. It’s not an excuse to stop evangelizing because you can’t answer the tough questions. It’s time for us to stop shutting up, and to start putting up.