Are you ready to give an answer?

by Kyle
published October 5, 2012


Read More Looking Up

Pastor Todd Wagner of Watermark Community Church in Dallas decided some time ago that he might like to invite some speakers to his church in order to train the congregation there to adequately respond to the claims of a group of popular thinkers commonly known as the new atheists.

The “new atheists” are represented by men such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and the late Christopher Hitchens. They not only reject belief in God, but also advocate rejecting those who believe in God because they claim such belief is irrational and ultimately bad for humankind.

Wagner likened the resultant conference to a pickup game of basketball at which LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan all decided to show up for one Saturday morning. Speakers Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, Greg Kokul and several others in the upper echelon of Christian thinking spent the whole day discussing how trusting in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of the world is reasonable, credible and rational.

I was privileged to go to the conference and I was enormously encouraged. The chance to see speakers in person whose books I’ve read, whose podcasts I subscribe to and who have been incredibly influential teachers to me — whether they know it or not — was amazing. It’s exactly what I went for.

It’s also the exact wrong reason to have gone.

While we were in Dallas, my wife and I stayed in the home of a friend of my wife’s family. At the conference, I met a good friend’s stepbrother. Both the woman we stayed with and the young man I spoke to proved more important to my own growth than any one of the big names that spoke on stage.

The two had almost nothing in common. The young man was the same age as the woman’s own sons. They lived on opposite ends of the metroplex. Their minds thought in completely different ways. More than any of that, though, the woman was a believer while the man was not.

Having almost nothing else in common, their one shared trait shocked me: while both had the most general idea that Christians believe Christ to have died for sins and to have been raised from the dead, neither knew much more about the Christian faith than that. While that’s enough to save you, it’s not enough to make you the effective witness Christ has called you to be. Beyond justification by faith, there seemed to be a fundamental lack of understanding of the biblical worldview for both the believer and the skeptic.

This is exactly the problem the conference I attended sought to correct.

Scripture commands believers to give an answer for what they believe and why they believe it in a respectful manner (1 Peter 3:15). Can you do that? Further, can you give evidence for what you believe? The church needs you to be able to. Lost souls need you to be able to. Reaching them is your job.

So here’s the challenge: We are commanded to love and worship God with all our hearts (check), all our souls (check) and all our minds (oh, problem here?). In fact, this is part of the single greatest commandment ever given to man (Matthew 22:37). There are free materials all over the web. The videos from the conference I attended, for instance, will be available over the coming months at There are no barriers to learning how to defend what you believe with evidence for why you believe it. My challenge to you is to engage your mind in the faith that saved you.

Learn what you believe and why you believe it, then use that to speak with love and show this world that our faith is not unreasonable, that it’s not irrational and that the Gospel is the very power of God for salvation.

What do you think?

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