| A (Not So) Brief Defense Christianity |
Survival Course Manual
A (Not So) Brief Defense of Christianity
Everybody has faith. From the
meticulous scientist to the most irrational religious fanatic,
everyone believes in something, and everyone acts on that belief
somehow. The question is not whether we WILL have faith; it is
whether or not the things we believe are true.
Unfortunately, many people never
evaluate the basis for their beliefs. They go with the flow of
society, which today is dominated by the idea of religious
pluralism. Religious pluralism means that we look at one
another's beliefs and in effect say, "I'm OK and you're OK." A
remark often heard, especially on campus is, "I don't think it
really makes much difference what you believe as long as you're
Many of us are hesitant or feel it's
wrong to make distinctions between people or their ideas. This is
because we feel it is arrogant, exclusionary, undemocratic, or
socially inappropriate. We want people to like us, so we try not to
be disagreeable. Ironically, this very pluralistic environment
creates a hesitancy to express personal convictions for fear of
offending another. In reality, this creates an atmosphere where all
views held are of equal value and are therefore "true." It also may
explain why so many people today regard themselves as atheists or
agnostics. Viewing so many "religious" options which profess to be
THE truth, they become agnostics or atheists, disclaiming the
religious idea of "faith" altogether.
Some militant atheists propose philosophical and scientific "proofs"
to explain away the existence
of God, hoping to convince others logically. Other atheists and
agnostics have not come to their beliefs logically, but rather
believe what they do simply because they prefer or are more
comfortable with it.
- The Need for Apologetics
A committed, thinking Christian's desire
must be to challenge that complacency. If there is such a thing as
truth, and if different world views do contradict one another, then
we need to make sure that the one we choose is the right one and
that we have good reasons for believing it to be so. Further, 1
Peter 3:15 tells us that we are to be ready always to give a
"defense" (apologia), to give answers, reasons for why we
believe as we do.
This particular outline is designed to
provide some of those answers: thus, the title, "A Brief Defense of
Christianity." There are three primary reasons why such
apologetical information is important:
- The religious pluralism rampant in
our culture demands it. Many today are spiritually hungry and
looking for truth in a culture of "isms" very similar to what we
find in the Graeco-Roman world of the New Testament. It was in this
kind of cultural environment that Christianity came, flourished,
and ultimately dominated Western Civilization for 15 centuries.
It has been said that Christianity
prevailed because the first Christians "out-thought" and "out-loved"
the ancient world. Many contemporary Christians are so
enamored of having a personal "experience" with God in the safety
of their various religious enclaves they have little time left to
defend the faith and convert the pagans. Mind Games is
designed to help us better connect with the wider world through
solid thinking and loving care.
- In the light of Peter's admonition
above, Christians are to prepare themselves to share their faith
with others and help remove the obstacles to faith which hinder
some non-Christians from giving serious consideration to Christ and
His claims upon their lives. Apologetics can help remove these
obstacles and demonstrate the "reasonableness" of Christianity.
- Apologetics can also serve to
strengthen the faith of young Christians as well as provide them
with the discernment necessary to identify and counter non-Christian
thinking and world views. This enhances personal
spiritual growth and better equips the Christian for more effective
Finally, we noted above that
EVERYONE has faith¾atheist, agnostic, and Christian. The real
issue is not to have faith, but rather to have a worthy OBJECT for
our faith. As you walk out on a frozen pond, which would you
prefer, a LITTLE faith in a sheet of ice two-feet thick, or a LOT
of faith in 1/4 inch of ice? Faith is important, but the object of
our faith is all-important.
The material in this outline is
designed to help assure you that to stand upon Christ and the world
view which He taught is to rest upon an object most worthy of your
faith. To demonstrate this, we are going to ask and then answer
some basic questions concerning the truthfulness of the Christian