The Top 10 Defenses Youth Can Give for Their Beliefs

by Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler

Tony Brickner cringed at the voice. He turned to face Clay Andrews’s ridicule for roughly the billionth time.

“You can’t tell me you really buy that bit about Jesus dying and coming back to life again!”

Why is Clay always giving me such a hard time for being a Christian? Tony swallowed hard and cleared his throat, hoping his voice would sound confident.

“Why don’t you tell me what you believe, Clay?” he said. “Then I’ll give you reasons for what I believe.”

Tony’s position was uncomfortable, but he got off to a good start by asking Clay about his beliefs. Many people challenge Christian beliefs, such as the resurrection, without stopping to consider what they themselves believe—or why. By inviting Clay to voice what he believed (and sincerely listening while he answered), Tony laid some solid groundwork. However, if Tony is like most of us, however, he will be mostly  unprepared to answer Clay’s question. Unless he happened to read this article beforehand. And if you’re anything like Tony, you can prepare yourself for those kinds of encounters—from peers to professors—by familiarizing yourself with the following top ten defenses to have ready when your faith is challenged.

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1. How can you know for sure that anything is true?

Among your acquaintances are likely to be some people who don’t believe in truth. That is, they don’t believe  truth can be known. However, that idea is easily refuted, as this fictional conversation in the 2011 novel, The Quest, illustrates:

“I think truth is out there, somewhere. I just don’t think we can ever really know it.”

“You don’t think truth can be known or discovered?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Do you think that’s a true statement?”

I blinked. “What do you mean?”

“What you just agreed to: ‘I don’t think truth can be known.’ Do you view that as a true statement?”

“Well, ye-eah,” I said slowly. Something didn’t sound right.

She smiled and leaned forward in her chair. She didn’t say anything, but looked at me like she was waiting for something.

It took a minute, but I finally realized what she was waiting for. “You’re saying that if I think that’s a true statement, then I’ve claimed to know something that is true….By saying truth can’t be known. I contradicted myself.”

“It’s called a self-refuting statement,” she said…


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