No More Blind Faith: 10 Quotes on Christian Apologetics
Disturbers are to be rebuked, the low spirited to be encouraged, the infirm to be supported, objectors confuted, the treacherous guarded against, the unskilled taught, the lazy aroused, the contentious restrained, the haughty repressed, the poor relieved, the oppressed liberated, the good approved, the evil borne with, and all are to be loved! – St. Augustine
The “blind faith” concept is actually not biblical. Pistis, the Greek word translated as “faith” actually is defined as a conviction based on the facts. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6a) It would be impossible to please God unless our minds can accurately discern the facts.
Not only does Christianity have plenty of room for people to use their mind, but the Bible even commands us to. "Test everything. Hold on to the good." (1 Thes 5:21). Its really cool that God invites us to test Him and what He has said. There is nothing wrong with asking questions or looking for reasonable answers.
As Christians we should never be afraid to ask questions, and we should also never discourage unbelievers from asking questions. Answering the tough questions is one of the ways to "…go and make disciples of all nations…"
Apologetics is extremely important, but never the first step in leading someone to Christ. In fact, if someone does not have intellectual stumbling blocks, I don’t wish to create them. Apologetics should only be used if and when I first identify that there is an intellectual stumbling block standing between the person and their belief in, trust in, and commitment to Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. – Luke Nix (from Why Apologetics?)
Jesus argued with the Pharisees all the time. Even His enemies reported that "no man speaks as this man speaks." If Jesus merely relied on the power of God and the particulars of His speech were inconsequential, if His mind and intellect and cleverness didn’t enter into it, then why don’t we behold unimpressive, muddled, uncompelling words in His discourses? No, it was quite the opposite. When we look further in the New Testament we see heated and intense disputation– polemic, argumentation–at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. We see Paul going after Peter hammer and tongs in Galatians 2:11. You can immediately see the problem with any interpretation of a verse to the effect that one must not use reason and rationality in the proclamation of the Gospel. Such a person runs smack into an army of counterexamples from the Scripture itself. – Greg Koukl
I’ve heard plenty of Christians try to answer the why question by going back to the what. “You have to believe because Jesus is the Son of God.” But that’s answering the why with more what. Increasingly we live in a time in which you can’t avoid the why question. Just giving the what (for example, a vivid gospel presentation) worked in the days when the cultural institutions created an environment in which Christianity just felt true or at least honorable. But in a post-Christendom society, in the marketplace of ideas, you have to explain why this is true, or people will just dismiss it. – Tim Keller
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The disciples had nothing to gain by lying and starting a new religion. They faced hardship, ridicule, hostility, and martyr’s deaths. In light of this, they could never have sustained such unwavering motivation if they knew what they were preaching was a lie. The disciples were not fools and Paul was a cool-headed intellectual of the first rank. There would have been several opportunities over three to four decades of ministry to reconsider and renounce a lie. – J.P. Moreland
Mankind suffers from two excesses: to exclude reason, and to live by nothing but reason. – Blaise Pascal
To come to faith on the basis of experience alone is unwise, though not so foolish as to reject faith altogether because of lack of experience … the quality of a Christian’s experience depends on the quality of his faith, just as the quality of his faith depends in turn on the quality of his understanding of God’s truth. ― Os Guinness
There are those who disdain the apologetic task altogether, either because they believe that Chri
stian faith is entirely a gift of God or because they advocate religious commitment as a "leap of faith". Such thinkers would quote Pascal: "The heart has reasons that reason knows not of". What those who take this approach overlook is that it proves too much. If Christian belief is justified by faith alone, then so is every other form of belief on the commitment market, since the devotees of each are equally convinced they are right. Besides, it is important to notice that Pascal still called the reasons which are not known by reason, "reasons". – Jerry Gill
If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about. – C.S. Lewis
The need for apologetics today is crucial. Believers must realize that we are living in a post-Christian era with a host of worldviews vying continuously for people’s commitments and, indeed, for their very lives. We must face these challenges head-on. Apologetics does not supplant faith, it supplements it. Nor does it replace the Spirit’s working. Rather, the Holy Spirit uses apologetic arguments as vehicles for clarifying the truth of God’s Word. The same verses commanding us to preach the gospel also instructs us to constantly be prepared to correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and careful instruction (2 Tim. 4:2). – Hank Hanegraaff