by John Ellis
Apologetics is a discipline that attracts much attention within Christianity, and for good reason. Atheism and agnosticism are on the rise. Even among non-atheists/non-agnostics, the rejection of long held beliefs about God, Jesus, and the Bible is seemingly the norm. Most of us have family members and friends who have rejected Christianity over things like the veracity (truthfulness) of the Bible, the problem of evil, and the absurdity of believing that someone who was dead came back to life. Sadly, surveys reveal that even many professing Christians doubt the inerrancy of Scriptures, the Resurrection, and the existence of hell. Stepping into the gap, apologetics books, seminars, and YouTube videos are easily found to help concerned and confused Believers better deal with the questions and challenges they face by the growing army of skeptics. To that end, I want to offer my help.
Having been an atheist, I once challenged Christians with many of the same questions, skepticisms, and out-right dismissals of the Bible and Christianity. By God’s grace, almost two decades ago, I repented of my sins and placed my faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Over the last decade-plus, I have studied philosophy and theology, including apologetics, and have had many apologetic conversations with unbelievers. Drawing from my experience and knowledge, I have compiled a list of apologetic answers to give when confronted with common challenges to Christianity. Lord willing, this will be help to those seeking to see sinners repent. I promise you that these are the only apologetic answers that you’ll need.
The Veracity (Truthfulness) of the Bible
Unbeliever: “Are you really telling me that you believe an ancient book that’s been copied and translated countless times? I mean, some of the stuff in it is nonsensical!”
Christian: “I get it. The Bible is a big book that makes a lot of large, difficult claims. I understand why you’re skeptical. I can’t be skeptical, though, because I’ve met the Author. Let me introduce you to Him.”
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Unbeliever: “You actually expect me to believe that a dead man came back to life? What? Next you’re going to tell me zombies are real?”
Christian: “You’re absolutely right. Dead people stay dead. People coming back to life doesn’t make any sense, except I’ve met Jesus, so I know he’s alive. Let me introduce you to him.”
The Problem of Evil
Unbeliever: “Why would an all-powerful and supposedly good God allow awful things to happen? Like child molesters? Why does God allow children to be abused and molested if he can stop it?
Christian: “That’s a tough question, and one that’s above my pay grade. I do know this, though – while I can’t explain to you why evil exists, I know the solution. And I know the solution because, while I haven’t done anything as bad as your example, I’ve done bad things, things that deserve punishment. And I’m sure you’ve done things that you’re ashamed of, too; things that you believe deserve punishment even though no one knows about those things. Well, I’ve met someone who took my punishment upon himself even though he never did a single bad thing, and he’s wants to do the same for you. Let me introduce you to him.”
We Should All Just Live Our Own Truth
Unbeliever: “People should just be true to themselves and stop trying to tell other people how to live.”
Christian: “I tried to live my own truth for a long time. I have to confess, though, my truth is that I’m far more selfish than I want to admit. When I lived my truth, I used people and hurt people. I realized that I couldn’t live my truth if I wanted to be a good person. I needed another Truth. And I’ve met the person who not only lives that Truth but is that Truth. Let me introduce you to him.”
The Existence of God
Unbeliever: “You can’t prove the existence of God. So how can you expect me to accept Christianity at true?”
Believer: “You’re absolutely right; I can’t prove the existence of God. He’s too big, too beyond me and you. But in His mercy, God came to us in the form of a human person named Jesus, and we can know God through Jesus. Let me introduce you to him.”
Obviously, there are many other apologetic questions, but you get the point: the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only answer you need, no matter the question/challenge. And I can hear the protestations as I write. Please think about what I said, though. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only answer you need.
We are not called to win arguments or change minds. We’re called to preach the gospel. And the Holy Spirit changes hearts, not minds. If you don’t know the classic apologetic answers, no worries. If you’re not conversant in complicated philosophies, it doesn’t matter. Introduce your unbelieving and skeptical friends and family members to Jesus. His Spirit will do the rest.
Soli Deo Gloria
 I’m speaking in a purely modernist, post-Enlightenment dualistic way. The Bible has a wholistic anthropology that our culture does not.