“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” – 1 Peter 3:1
Popular culture has taken a nosedive into the material world, vowing never to come up for spiritual air again. I’ve heard it said that science knocked on the door to the universe, and God didn’t answer.
Just in the last few decades, there has been a growing debate regarding the existence of God. Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens have taken the front seat of the “New Atheist” movement. As intellectual powerhouses, these men are models of what it means to be a modern atheist.
As our culture becomes more and more secular, how can we join the discussion? How do we stand firm in a world that points to the material for hope and understanding?
Throughout history, Christians have taken many approaches to defending the faith. Most fit into four basic categories:
- Reason – Men like C.S. Lewis and William Lane Craig believed the best way to convince nonbelievers of God’s existence was to follow the courses of logic. Example: Every thing that begins to exist must have a cause. The universe began to exist; therefore it must have a cause.
- Evidence – Some Christians take science head-on, proving God’s existence based on evidence found in history, archeology, and science itself. Dr. John Lennox takes this approach with Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion Debate.
- Scripture – Others, such as Cornelius Van Til, look to Scripture as proof that there is a God. They defend God’s existence based on what Scripture says about God and how He has been revealed throughout the history of His people.
- Experience – Still another way to defend our faith is by referring directly to the hope within us. Christians look to their own experience as believers. Example: I know God is there because I have experienced the presence of Christ in me, and I have seen Him working in my life and the lives of others around me.
All four of these strategies are valid and effective for speaking to nonbelievers about our hope in Jesus Christ. Which approach resonates with you the most?
How will you defend your faith?