I want you to know why Apologetics is important to me, so that if you don’t think it’s important to you I can help you see why it’s important to everyone.
I am 10 years old. I was born (again) July 3, 2003. I came to Christ the hard way.
Before I was a Christian I had it all figured out. I knew what I was doing! I was proud of my “open” mind and keen instincts for counterfeit philosophies, beliefs & ways of thinking. The Christians that approached me time and time again with their naïve, childish beliefs were easily brushed aside in my mind, since I was too smart for their fairy tales. Better to believe an unpleasant truth than to delude myself with a pleasant lie. I refused to abdicate reason! Yet, the culmination of doing things my own way for 46 years was disaster! Despite my best intentions & efforts, all that was important & dear to me was in chaos or destroyed.
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to happen that way. Perhaps for me it did have to happen that way, that it was God’s plan so that I would be passionate about Apologetics, so that I would be driven to help others understand that, for them, it doesn’t have to happen that way.
For 25 years I said to my Christian friends “I want to believe what you believe. Who wouldn’t! Look at the benefits! So, answer this question: what makes your faith any different than that of a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist or Pantheist?”
No one could ever answer that question.
If someone had, maybe I would have dropped my guard enough to listen & come to God by an easier & earlier path. You see I didn’t have God to protect me, so the intellect was my protector. Like a bouncer at the door, nothing got through without the intellect’s approval. Christians were sent quickly on their way, patience for their nonsense lost long ago. If only one person had been able to give a rational answer to my question, I believe the bouncer would have listened and stepped aside.
So how did I become a Christian? The bouncer was driven to his knees in defeat, surrounded by the devastation a result of his own failure to do only what God can do (God is The Protector, not the intellect). Weakened by these events in my life he stood aside and motioned that a book (on Apologetics) given to me by a Christian friend could pass by.
After I became a Christian I then knew the quandary of the Christians that couldn’t answer my question! I had become one of them! I knew Christ was real: he was in my heart, just like he was for them, but I couldn’t answer my own question! How could I reconcile the new man with the old? I was in an awkward spot. How could I explain this to myself? Aren’t we first a witness to ourselves?
I knew I had to bridge the gap between the old & the new. First for myself, then so I could help those cross the bridge who are on the other side as I once was.
So I continually prayed for an answer. In 2011 I was introduced to a book titled “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist”. Here was the bridge! Apologetics was the bridge! Now I can answer that question! There is a REASON for my faith! I know WHY I believe!
Now, some of you are thinking,
“Ok, Marc, thank you for your story, but I’m already a Christian! I’m not like you, this doesn’t apply to me. I have my faith and that is enough –I don’t need to know WHY I believe what I already know is true in my heart. I don’t need apologetics! No offense, but I’ve gotten by just fine without it, and if I may be blunt: isn’t apologetics an ivory tower branch of theology devoted to bantering obscure, impractical, irrelevant & abstract concepts? Let’s get Real!!”
Ok, let’s get real…
-Is your faith important to you? -Is the faith of your children important to you? -Do you know that your faith and the faith of your children are under attack? -Are you prepared to defend your faith? -Are your children? -How many children run into the loving arms of Jesus then at a later age are torn from his arms by an inability to defend & maintain their faith? -How many loved ones have been lost to the world who were once saved? A father? Brother? Sister? Mother? Son? Daughter? Husband? Wife? Dear friend? -Are YOU immune to being lost, to being torn from the arms of Jesus?
Apologetics is a bridge, yes, but it is also preventative medicine, an inoculation against an autoimmune disease from which all Christians are in mortal danger: where we attack & destroy our own faith from the inside out. We inherited it from Adam, and the enemy who never sleeps watches for the opportunity to wake it from dormancy and give it fuel & strength. This civil war and internal strife is guaranteed for any thinking person if he is not inoculated by Apologetics!
No one is immune. You must know WHY you believe, not just THAT you believe.
That is why Jesus said:
“‘Love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your MIND.'” Matthew 22:37