Apologetics for the Average Christian: Asking Good Questions
by Mark Farnham
The heart of apologetics is giving an answer to that coworker who asks how you can believe in God when there is so much evil and suffering in the world. It is making a defense of the Scriptures when your classmate challenges the reliability of the Bible. It is explaining to your neighbor that Christianity is all about the words and works of Jesus Christ, not going to church and being a nice person.
Many Christians feel that such conversations are beyond their abilities, but that is simply not true. 1 Peter 3:15-16 commands us all to prepare to give a defense for their faith. With a little bit of training and preparation, any believer can begin to answer those who challenge the truth of the gospel.
Many people feel that they must answer every challenge raised against the Christian faith. If an unbeliever asks how he can believe in something he can’t see, the Christian feels that he must come up with a good answer. This is where the thought of apologetics scares many people. The average believer is not a philosopher, so what can he say?
Challenge the Challenger
Rather than seek to answer the challenge head-on, a believer should respond by asking questions. A good question reveals the presuppositions of the challenger. If someone asks, “How can you believe in something you can’t see?” they are assuming that believing in something invisible is irrational. A Christian should not feel on the defensive in such a situation. Rather, he should ask questions that reveal that the challenger: 1) already himself believes in invisible things, and 2) therefore the question is really about which invisible things have enough evidence to believe in.
A response might look like this…
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