The Top 10 Defenses Youth Can Give for Their Beliefs
- Monday, July 16, 2012
I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic— on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg— or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.8
9. Do you really believe that Jesus literally rose from the dead?
Many theories have been put forth to try to cast doubt on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. All of them are inadequate; some are even ludicrous (we devote three chapters to these theories in our book, Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door). In fact, the historical evidence for the resurrection is so overwhelming, historians have to become “anti-historical” in their efforts to build a case against it. As Lord Darling, a prominent English judge, once said, “No intelligent jury in the world could fail to bring in a verdict that the resurrection story is true.”9
10. How can you believe in that stuff?
The most convincing evidence for the Christian faith is not historical, textual, or archaeological; it is the testimony of a changed life. When I (Josh) set out to disprove the Christian faith, my mind met unassailable facts… but my heart met irresistible love. I met a group of Christians at Kellogg College in Battle Creek, Michigan, who exposed me for the first time to the love of God. Oh, how they loved each other. And I wanted what they had. That love paved the road of faith for me, and thus began my journey of faith. All the evidence in the world—the most powerful arguments and most convincing proofs—probably wouldn’t have gotten through to me if the transforming power of God’s love had not reached my heart through that student group and others.
Always keep in mind that the same will be true of anyone who challenges or questions your faith. Your answers can help open their hearts, but the vibrant evidence of a changed life will always be the most convincing apologetic you can offer.
Josh McDowell is a speaker, author, and traveling representative for Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). His books include The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, More Than a Carpenter, and Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door.
Bob Hostetler has coauthored many books with Josh McDowell and is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives in Ohio. His books include American Idols and Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door.
1 Sean McDowell and Bob Hostetler, The Quest (Vista, CA: Outreach Publishers, 2011).
2 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2001), 136-137.
3 AntonyFlew, There Is a God (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2007), 123-141.
4 Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth (New York: Free Press, 2009), 8.
5 See the list at dissentfromdarwin.org.
6 Josh McDowell.
7 William F. Albright, The Archaeology of Palestine and the Bible (New York: Revell, 1933).
8 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2001), 52.
9 Quoted by Michael Green in Man Alive (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1968), p. 54.
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