I don’t know about you, but I often find that telling other people about my faith in Jesus is not an easy thing to do. In fact, many of us find it hard to explain it to ourselves!
But we also know that if our faith really is ‘good news’ then it’s worth sharing with others and understanding for ourselves. That’s why we’re running our present teaching series ‘Reasons To Believe: Unlocking the evidence for faith’.
1 Peter 3:15 says: ‘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’. So, what can we do to ‘be prepared’ for conversations about faith, especially with those who have hard questions or are outright sceptical of any religious claims?
We can sometimes live with the impression that faith is all about believing something ‘in our heart’. Don’t get me wrong, Christianity is a matter of the heart. But it’s also a matter of the head. The reality is that many Christians are often unaware of how much evidence there is for the Christian faith.
Justin is helping us with this series because his entire career has been spent in Christian Apologetics, giving reasons for the faith we have. Recently a listener of his faith discussion radio show (‘Unbelievable?’, which features Christian and non-Christian thinkers debating the evidence) got in touch. At the time he began listening on podcast several years ago, this man, Nico, was an atheist, but he’d decided to find out more about faith as he and his wife were trying for a baby and he felt compelled to think more about life’s big questions. Listening to the conversations debating the evidence for faith had a profound impact on him.
Nico said: ‘I was blown away by the fact that the Christians weren’t indoctrinated idiots, and that there were logical arguments for the existence of God. I found myself siding with the Christians in these debates, having expected the opposite to happen’.
In due course Nico became a Christian. He now has four children and is developing his own ministry to share faith with others. It’s a great example of the way evidence can be part of someone’s journey towards Jesus.
That’s not to say that we can ever know ‘all the answers.’ Having conversations ‘with gentleness and respect’ means retaining a sense of humility about what we can know, taking the time to listen, and never treating those we speak with as ‘the enemy’ even if they disagree with us. On the contrary, every person is loved by God and made in his image. The way we treat people and speak to them is just as important as what we say.
I hope that our Sunday morning themes and Zoom sessions will help you to be a little more confident in your conversations.
Yours in Christ, Lucy