Many people that I interact with often have reactions about apologetics like, ‘you can’t prove Christianity’, ‘you have faith, not evidence’ ‘science disproves religion’, or you can’t reason someone into heaven’. The list could go on.
Most people find it hard to wrap their minds around the idea that one can be a Christian with a faith that is backed up by evidence and not based on faith alone. Our society thinks that faith and reason are mutually exclusive. Either you believe in God, or you believe in science. You believe in philosophy or in theology. You trust scientists or you trust your pastor or priest
Many Christians, and even pastors have supported this notion when Christians struggling with their faith or those interested in Christianity come to them with honest fair questions. Questions rooted in the question, ‘how do we know Christianity is true’. ‘How do we know the Bible is true?’ ‘who wrote the Bible?’, ‘did Jesus really exist?’, why is there evil in the world?’. These are some of the honest and genuine questions that Christians and non-Christians have about Christianity. Unfortunately many Christians and even some pastors have simply reacted with the answer ‘you just need to have faith’.
This poorly thought out answer is no doubt why many Christians have left Christianity and many people interested in Christianity have found Christianity unconvincing.
A large reason for me writing this blog is to give a better answer to peoples questions like these. I don’t have all of the answers, but I do believe there are reasonable Biblical answers to all of these questions . In fact I believe there is enough evidence scientifically, historically and philosophically to reasonable establish Christianity.
As with many decisions we make in our lives we don’t always have all of the answers before we make a choice, but we usually have reason enough to make a choice. For instance when a man preposes to a girl he may not have answered all his questions about whether or not they are a perfect fit, but he has reached a point that he has answered enough questions that he knows she is trustworthy to have faith in that girl for a strong marriage. I suggest that our evidence for Christianity is much like that. We may not be able to answer every single question against Christianity or understand every theological question, but we have enough reason to know it is true despite still leaving some things unanswered.
So how is this possible? I of course can’t illustrate this all in this one blog, but I can give you the basic outline. If we can answer reasonably answer yes to all of the following questions then we have shown Christianity to be true.
- Does truth exist?
- Does God exist?
- Are miracles possible?
- Is the new testament true?
If, and I admit this is a big if, we can prove that the answer to all of these questions is ‘yes’ then we have proven Christianity to be true. Explained more thoroughly it works like this.
Truth exists and can be known. If truth exists then either God exists or does not. If God exists miracles are possible, though not necessary. Those miracles can prove who God is, since those who are not God could not perform miracles. If miracles can confirm that Jesus is God, then Jesus confirms the Old Testament and in turn Christianity as a whole.
Of course this still leaves a lot of questions to fill in the midst of this process but this only outlines the basic idea of apologetics, the filling in is where the work really begins.
I agree with your thoughts & reckon far more people should be able to defend their faith through logical and cohesive arguments. William Lane Craig’s book ‘On Guard’ is excellent reading for this.