Why Most Believers Can’t Defend Their Faith
What Is Apologetics? For those who have not heard the term apologetics, let me begin by explaining that it doesn’t have anything to do with being sorry for something. The word Apologetics is an old word that stems from the Greek word, “apologia”.
Simply put, this word means to give a defense. If you are a believer in the Christian faith, it is worthy to note that the word shows up about 8 times in the New Testament. One specific mentioning of the word is found in 1 Peter 3:15 which reads, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…” This basically is a command to always be prepared to give an explanation for the rationale behind your belief.
The Reality Is…
Most Christians are not able to defend what they believe. As a matter of fact, a lot of times Christians settle the matter by stating things like, “you just gotta have faith” or “just believe”. These are very weak answers and in our post-modern world that has so much information available, people want real answers to their questions. (Please be assured that I am not saying we don’t need faith or belief, these are fundamental and essential parts of all worldviews).
One reason that I wasn’t too fond of Christianity had a lot to do with questions. My mom’s side of the family are all Christians and as a teenager, I was unable to get satisfactory answers from any of them. It wasn’t until I searched for answers and truth that I kept coming back to Christianity, the religion I didn’t want anything to do with. The more I tried to prove Christianity wrong, the more I realized there was a lot of evidence that supported its claims.
-A Lack Of Education Keeps Us In The Dark But Knowledge Is Light.-
This lack of education concerning apologetics and defending the faith, is causing a large percentage of our youth to leave Christianity. Youth are bombarded by different types of worldviews and mentalities, and their inability to answer questions posed by their peers causes them to question and doubt their faith. Yet, if one only looks into history and science, an accurate definition of reality can arrive at objectively.
The first thing any apologist must understand is that all humanity is at different places in their journey. It is of vital importance to see where each individual is exactly. Some people start preaching and shouting at people to repent, but this is not always the best way. Everyone is at a different place in life, and sees things differently. Before converting anyone, we need to build a genuine relationship with the individual, and see what that persons worldview consist of. Only after their frame of reference is evaluated, can we begin assessing their beliefs.
Is There Such A Thing As Truth?
First thing first, if someone does not believe in absolute truth, then it will be difficult to bring them to the conclusion that the bible is true, or that any claims within the bible are true. A modern way of looking at reality simply states that all views are equally correct. Relativity is propagated within the educational system along with religious tolerance which essentially state all views are equally viable and acceptable. And though I agree we should never force a belief on anyone, we also need to be able to explain why all worldviews and religious claims cannot be true. Logically and rationally, if we say everything is a part of God, it is not the same as saying God is outside of everything. Both views cannot be true since they teach contradictory things. Either God is part of everything, or God is not.
When someone says there is no such thing as truth, you ask him, if his or her statement is true. If it is true, then his statement self-destructs because it asserts what it is trying to deny.
So why should I believe in God? Or why should anyone?
Something From Nothing
When speaking to non-believers the question of origins and first cause is something that cannot be avoided. It is an argument that is worthy of notice. Ultimately it leaves a question that must be answered in regards to the real beginning that is evident in the universe. Science points us to a real beginning of the universe and a real beginning of space, time, and matter. The expansion of the universe points us in the direction of a real beginner. The question is what makes more sense? Is it more logical to assume that everything you see around you is the product of random processes? Can you logically conclude that all the laws that govern our universe moment by moment happened by chance? Atheist and skeptics usually answer that talking about anything prior to the beginning of the universe are meaningless, yet I see this as a weak diversion and as logical beings, we must go where the evidence leads us.
If You Find Something On The Ground…
When you find something on the ground like a quarter, do you automatically assume it to be the product of millions of years of evolution? Or do you assume a mind behind it? If you assume a mind behind something so simple, how much more would something as complex as the human mind require? These are real questions that must be asked and cannot be disregarded. All answers are given to this question by unbelievers ultimately pose more questions that cannot be verified empirically and seem a lot more illogical than assuming a Creative Mind. They seem only to try to explain away a creator by inferring more universes and imaginary details that allow something to begin from nothing, and that non-living something to eventually become something alive, breathing, and intelligent. This question must be resolved and make more sense than the assumption that a Creator created everything. There is great information on this here, but ultimately the idea of life coming from non-life is unscientific and cannot even be accomplished in laboratories by human mind’s, let alone by blind and random chance.
Beyond Good And Evil
Something else worthy of mention besides the HUGE fact that there is overwhelming evidence that the universe had a beginning, is the idea of human morality. The very fact that we regard certain acts as good, and other as evil is a question that cannot be seen as simple chemical reactions.
Sure, one can easily disregard such notions regarding good and evil, but when facing them directly it is not likely one truly believes what they say they do.
If your wallet was to be taken from you, what gives you the right to say the other person is wrong?
If you witness the murder of an innocent child, what gives anyone the right to say an act is evil?
Sure, some people will say that it has to do with socialization and our environment, but there is a universal moral code that humanity abides by in general. There isn’t a nation that takes well to thieves. Or unjust killings. Or to be more broad, no one likes it when you take something they love unjustly. But how are those words justified if there is no real and absolute standardthat we are referring to?
In this following video, Ravi Zacharias does a swell job explaining it further.
But What About Rules And Laws?
Some will appeal to state laws and other authorities, and might go as far as saying that laws are made by people in power and different places and laws exist and are a result of the conditioning of the surroundings we were exposed to. But we still arrive at the fact that these rules appeal to some real sense of good an evil. And seeing as the rules in themselves cannot be perfect (since they are always changing and differ from place to place), we need to ask what this perfect standard we refer to, actually is.
So What Is The Point?
When we look at reality, we see that there are huge indicators that rationally conclude the necessary existence of a supernatural being. If there existed a time before the creation of the whole universe (which includes space, time and matter), then what could have possibly created an expansion from this ‘nothingness‘.
This along with the real sense of good and evil are questions that cannot be easily tossed to the side.
From here on, if we can get the unbeliever to admit a creative intelligence, then we must answer who that intelligence is.
What Kind Of God is God?
This can be done by investigating the truth claims proposed by different worldviews, and testing those claims out. When we look at religions that teach God is a part of everything, we understand that this cannot be true. The reason it can’t be true, is because if the universe had a beginning, and the God is part of the universe, then it would mean God had a beginning.
This shows us that God cannot be a part of everything. God is outside the known universe. He created everything within the universe, yet exist separate from it.
This points us to 3 main world religions. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These all teach of a God who created the universe from nothing, and who is separate from his creation.
The 3 World Religions
We know Islam was founded around 600 A.d. Islam claims Muhammad to be God’s last prophet and the Quran to contain the very words of God. Translating it into any other languages is not seen as beneficial. What strikes me as strange is the fact that it denies the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, though there are numerous historical sources which speak of the crucifixion of Christ under Pontius Pilate. Roman historian Tacitus writes, “Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penaltyduring the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa…” Josephus a Jewish historian also mentions the crucifixion as well, “And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him…”
Can Islam say that the Quran is the word of God if it contains false information regarding the person of Jesus?
And when we look at Judaism we see everything in their Torah points to the coming of Jesus. Especially when we look in the book of Isaiah and read chapter 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”. (Immanuel literately means ‘God with us’).
Then in chapter 9 verse 6, “For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”.
Who are these verses talking about??? This is in the Torah, about 6 or 7 hundred years before Christ. Other instances in Isaiah describe the crucifixion and how he was lead, “as a lamb to the slaughter’.
So we have some scriptures that sound like they are talking about Jesus! But how do we know these scriptures are true or if they even mean anything?
Well when we take into consideration the bible, we see that it is the collection of 66 books. These books are written by over 40 different authors from different times and parts of the world who for the most part, did not know each other. Some were shepherds, fisherman, tax collectors, doctors, kings, who wrote under the inspiration of God’s Spirit. All these writers create different writings, yet when read as a whole, they tell one story. Though some touch on areas such as history or proverbs, they all point to one central theme.
One God, who was to one day come in the flesh and restore humanities fallen relationship with Him. The chances of this coming about would be the same as if we took 66 works of history, poetry, philosophy, etc. from the last 2000 years and having them all tell one story.
Not only does the bible make sense collectively, but it also contains hundreds of prophecies which have come true as well as prophecies which are still occurring like Israel becoming a nation again. One of the most powerful prophecies which no one ever would have expected to happen! In 1948 we see Israel reborn as a nation in a day!!!! Just like Isaiah 66:7-8 “Isaiah 66:7-8, “Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.”
What If They Wrote Prophecies After The Fact?
Some might say old testament isn’t reliable and it was written after the fact, but thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls which were found in 1948, we have copies of the book of Isaiah that date over 100 years before Christ! Again, this is extraordinary evidence which supports Christianity.
Ultimately there is a far better argument for belief in a Creator than in a belief in nothing. It requires a lot more faith to buy into the idea of a universe creating itself ex nihilio, than believing an all powerful mind created the universe and all the minds that exist.
Don’t Take My Word! Look For Yourself!
This is just a quick post I am putting up but I encourage you to look into every subject more thoroughly. Each subject could take months to properly investigate but the answers are out there! Connect with us to grow and learn from each other!