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 critical for everyone.
I am 10 years old; 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, and ways of thinking.
I quickly brushed aside the Christians that approached me time and time again with their naïve, childish beliefs since I was too smart for their fairy tales.
I thought it 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 way for 46 years was disastrous.
Despite my best intentions & efforts, all that was important & dear to me was in chaos or destroyed.
I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to happen that way.
Perhaps it did for me, so I would be passionate about helping others avoid a similar catastrophe in their lives.
For 25 years, I said to my Christian friends, “I want to believe what you believe. Who wouldn’t! Look at the benefits! But, answer this question: what makes your faith different from that of a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Pantheist, or any worldview outside your own? Because, from where I stand, you all look the same: it’s all about faith.*
No one could ever answer that question.
If someone had, maybe I would have dropped my guard, listened, and come to God by an easier & earlier path.
Since I didn’t have God in my life, the intellect was my protector. Like a bouncer at the door, nothing got through without the intellect’s approval. My cerebral security guard sent Christians quickly on their way, patience for their nonsense lost long ago. If only one person had given 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 devastation from failing to do only what God can do (God is The Protector, not the intellect). Weakened by these events in my life, the bouncer stood aside and motioned that a book on Christianity offered me by a Christian friend could pass by.
The timing was perfect.
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, as he was for them, but I was also at a loss to answer the tough questions. 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 others cross the bridge who are on the other side as I once was.
So I continually prayed for an answer. Finally, in 2011, a friend introduced me 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 and so many others! I know why and how Christianity is objectively true beyond a reasonable doubt: logically, evidentially, and historically.
Now, some of you might be 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. Therefore, I don’t need Apologetics! No offense, but I’m doing 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 the faith of your children and those you love important to you?
-Do you know their faith is under attack?
-Are you and they prepared to defend that faith?
-How many children run into the loving arms of Jesus to have doubt tear them from his embrace at a later age because they’re blindsided by questions they aren’t prepared to answer?
-How many loved ones, once saved, have we lost to the world?
-Are you immune to being lost?
Apologetics is a bridge, but it is also preventative medicine.
It’s 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 leverage it against us.
This civil war and internal strife is a guarantee for any thinking person not inoculated by Apologetics.
The testimony of the heart is not enough on the battlefield of life.
No one is immune. We must know how and why Christianity is true. Saying that it’s true is not enough.
That is why Jesus said:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” [My italics]
*If the subjective testimony of the heart was enough to validate the truth of someone’s beliefs, then each of those worldviews is equally valid. But the fundamental differences in their definitions of ultimate reality make that impossible. They can all be wrong, but they can’t all be right. See “Why We Need Two Testimonies.”