Why I Owe Apologetics
by Laura Coulter
I was a freshman in high school when my youth minister started an apologetics class for the older youth at our church. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s not apologetic as in *Ryan Tedder falsetto* “it’s too late to ‘pologize… it’s too late;” it’s the discipline of defending a position, particularly one’s faith. It’s not something a lot of Christians study, which is a shame. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Some might believe that we should just stick to the Bible and not bother ourselves with how to defend its truth. But the Bible itself tells us to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15) and to “[cast] down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Yes, we walk by faith and not by sight. But Christianity is not the faith of the blind; it is the life of those whose eyes have been opened. We walk by faith in the God who sees all. We don’t have to hide from the truth; we can embrace it. Because there is evidence for our faith: in Scripture, logic, history, life experience, and yes, even science.
When I discovered apologetics, I had finished my eighth grade year (which I call my bad year— I was a complete brat and totally boy-crazy) and was struggling through my first year of high school, where, honestly, I wasn’t learning much. But I would come to church on Sunday nights and our youth minister would pour out wave after wave of new information about Scripture, theology, and how to defend its truth. I appreciated the weight of what he was teaching us even more because he didn’t just read us some discussion questions and answers from a lesson book. He would carry in stacks of books that reached from his arms to his head— books he’d studied in preparation for each lesson. His dedication gave me a hint that this was important.
I started to connect the dots of my faith. Growing up in church, there are all these stories and truths you’ve been taught, isolated pinpoints on the canvas of your worldview. Some of them were already connected— as as kid, when I realized I needed Jesus as my Savior the most important connections were drawn in blood. But there were a lot of outliers— things that I just didn’t understand, or seeming contradictions that no one bothered to explain to me, or things in the Bible that didn’t mesh with what I’d been taught in school.
For the first time, I started to really consider why I believed what I believed. And when I saw the evidence…
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