In a culture where our cognitive attention span is sadly being reduced to a series of sound bites, and important arguments are perceived to be settled with witty one-liners, it is increasingly difficult to engage in meaningful discussions about the truthfulness of Christianity. But we must. Our biblical job as disciple-making ambassadors includes demonstrating the reasonableness of following Christ. We are not promoters of “cleverly devised myths” (2 Peter 1:16). What we advocate consists of “true and rational words” (Acts 26:25).
And so we must be “prepared to make a defense”, giving a thoughtful “reason for the hope” that we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). This will require effort on our part to slow down the conversation, carefully identifying and highlighting the legitimate objections our non-Christian friends raise regarding the veracity of the Christian faith. Once we sort out the honest intellectual questions from the defensive smokescreens that hide volitional stubbornness, we can begin to methodically pursue answers.
Because the defense of our faith should not be seen as a ten-minute, ego-driven dispute to be won, but rather as a pair of human beings dialoging about the meaning and purpose of our existence, we should get used to the idea that biblical apologetics is usually a long series of involved discussions that take place over weeks and months. While our evangelism always feels urgent, profitable dialog with skeptics can rarely be rushed. So slow it down and take the needed time to “provide a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
-- Pastor Mike
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