My Advice to Apologists (Part 1)

by Randy Everist

My advice to apologists is not meant to be all-inclusive, and it is not meant to be authoritative (on the level of William Lane Craig or Alvin Plantinga). Rather, it will simply be a collection of my observations and beliefs about some issues facing young, Christian apologists. Too often, we rush headlong into the project of apologetics without thinking some things through.

First, do not succumb to a type of “reverse confirmation bias.” I see this all too often. The young apologist, strengthened by his newfound intellectual rigor and study into Christianity, tends to believe that he can and will prove everything wrong. As he continues, he develops, sometimes unconsciously, the idea that if he cannot prove some objection to Christianity to be absolutely incorrect, then his faith will waver, and weaken. What happens from there is that each new objection that he cannot immediately answer counts, in effect, as evidence against Christianity. Either one of two results will occur: either he will spend the rest of his life running from intellectual fire to intellectual fire, trying desperately to put them out; or else he will eventually give up the faith altogether.

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As an alternative, I would suggest that our faith is neither gained nor held by our own intellectual discoveries. In the first place, most of us do not credit the apologetic arguments with bringing us to faith (in the Christian sense). They may remove our intellectual barriers or even influence us strongly, or, in some cases, even bring intellectual assent. But Christian faith is much more than that. It is a matter of the will.[1] In the second place, we must adhere to the many biblical verses about the Holy Spirit’s revealing God’s truth to us (1 Cor. 2:9-12), and not being carried about with every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14). In that case, then, we will have a rock-solid, unwavering commitment to biblical Christianity…

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