Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15)
Have you ever gotten into a serious discussion about faith with someone who doesn’t believe in God? Perhaps, like me, you often end up feeling like you too took a knife to a gun fight. You feel outclassed by the weight and the force of the other person’s arguments and so you end up saying to yourself, “I know that I believe, but I cannot give sound arguments to support why I believe.” Maybe, in the back of your mind, there is a niggling doubt that perhaps there are no sound arguments to believe, that your faith position cannot stand up to the scrutiny of reason, and so you avoid any such confrontations in the future and you walk around with a faith that seems tenuous and fragile.
Nothing could be further from the truth! The argument that reason, truth and science are opposed to the Christian faith is simply wrong. People who make such claims usually have a worldview called scientific naturalism. They start with the presupposition that everything in the universe can and should be explained using only naturalistic reasons. Therefore, in their view, anything supernatural should be excluded. What they fail to see is that scientific naturalism is just as much a faith position as is Christianity. It is their presuppositions that exclude God, not the evidence.
Science and reason cannot prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God does not exist, nor can they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that God does exist. Science, in the true sense of the word, and reason are neutral when it comes to matters of faith. But we can use science and reason as tools to show that the Christian view presents the most likely explanation for what we see in the world. As C. S. Lewis wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
There is reasonable support for the Christian faith from top to bottom. The practice of giving a reasoned defense of the Christian faith is called apologetics. Apologetics is important for three reasons: 1) It helps us to see the support that there is for the faith that we have, 2) It can assist young people who are transitioning from accepting the faith of their parents to making the Christian faith their own, and 3) It can challenge non-believers to think about their objections to the Christian faith. In time the Holy Spirit can use that challenge (and others) to clear away the objections and bring that person to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
I urge you to take advantage of whatever opportunities you may have to learn more about apologetics. If you do, you will be better prepared “…to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
In Christ’s love,