Q & A with Dr. Craig: How to Cure Slow Thinking
Q: Dr. Craig,
Thank you very much for all your work. It is very inspiring, and it has been building up my faith.
I have a question regarding those apologetics-discussions that come up when I am trying to share my Christian faith. Although I was raised in a fervently Christian home where I received a good education in the faith, and although I am currently studying philosophy at an excellent Christian academic institution (which has also been building up my faith, as my professors are doing a good job of relating sound philosophy to Christian faith), I find that I struggle with apologetics-discussions. I often find myself to be unable to formulate a ready reply on the spot – which distresses me, considering that 1 Peter 3:15 exhorts us to “always be ready to give an account for the hope that is in you.” The problem seems to be that I am a slow thinker. I can usually come up with a good answer AFTER the fact, having given it some prayer and reflection, but I am often stumped for an answer on the spot.
I am of course open to the possibility that this is something that the Lord will heal in me with prayer, or with time, or perhaps with more study. It may simply be a matter of growing in confidence, or of becoming adept in apologetics with practice. But I wonder if you have any suggestions about this, in terms of any practices you have come across in your debates and studies which might help give slow-thinkers like me more of an “edge” when those important conversations come up.
Once again, thank you for everything you are doing, and God bless you!
A: I can really sympathize with your plight, Daniel! I’m sure that everyone one of us has come away from a conversation with an unbeliever feeling defeated and discouraged and thinking, “Why didn’t I say this?” We admire people who have a mind like a steel trap, ready to spring instantly. I well remember as a young philosopher the awe I felt of George Mavrodes, a professor at the University of Michigan, who, sitting in some session at a philosophy conference and hearing a paper read for the first time, would ask the most penetrating questions from the floor. How I wished to have a mind like his!
Well, there is hope…
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