Early in my Christian experience, before I knew the
definition of apologetics, I sensed the need for an adequate apologetic for
every accusation against, and question to, the Christian faith. There were so
many people who did not know God, and there were so many questions that seemed
to stand between them and God. If their questions could be answered clearly,
rationally, intelligently, and kindly, these students would then stand
convinced and would become believers.

I set myself the task of getting the right answers. Before I
became accomplished in this pursuit, I began to have doubts. The doubts arose
as I began to practice my growing knowledge in face-to-face encounters
(arguments) or large bull sessions. It was great fun arguing. It was more fun
winning the argument. But there weren’t any results. Part of the problem was
that I found it difficult to be kind while I was being methodically rational
and clear in my presentation.

There was another problem. It seemed that most of the people
who had questions didn’t really want answers to their questions. They
just wanted to have questions. This contradicted an assumption I had made that
people who had questions wanted answers.

“But in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be
prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope
that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your
conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good
behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:15-16).

This is the kind of question we should generate, answer, and
answer with gentleness and respect.


Written May 1986.

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