Have you ever found yourself filling the awkward silence with um’s and er’s as you’ve try to come up with some kind of answer to a question that has been thrown in your direction because you’re the only Christian in the room? Maybe it was on suffering, evolution, other faiths, or gay marriage. I’ve experienced this on countless occasions and if I’m honest it’s only in the last 10 years or so that I’ve started to enjoy and even long for these kind of moments. What’s changed?
Firstly, as I’ve read a number of well-known Christian apologists (such as C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer and Tim Keller), they’ve helped me to see that almost everyone, regardless of their view of faith, build their own worldviews on ‘leaps of faith’. Even the most zealous atheist, will have leaps of faith in the way they view the world around them. As a result, we as Bible believing Christians shouldn’t shrink back from discussions and debates, because of the caricature that we’re ‘the people who don’t really think’; instead we should actively engage in discussions because everyone in the conversation will be making ‘best guesses’ or ‘leaps of faith’ at some point!
Secondly, as I’ve grown in my love and understanding of the Bible I’ve come to deeply appreciate that, the Christian faith is not a ‘leap in the dark’ or ‘blow your brains out’ kind of faith, but a faith that is rooted in robust historical evidence. F.F. Bruce a world renowned Bible commentator said of the Bible “there is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament”. Nelson Glueck, the renowned Jewish archaeologist said “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.” I could go on and on, but the most important thing to underline is that we should never feel like we’ve been given a book of child-like myths. No, the Bible is a book that has been pressured, oppressed, dissected, examined and stands still has the clearest ring of authenticity!
Thirdly, we’ve not been left to our own devices to try and win the argument. Rather, we’ve been given God’s “living and active” word which is “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit…” (Heb 4:12). Even in our highly sophisticated and sceptical society, God’s word is powerful and able to transform people at the most fundamental and core of their being.