"... worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ." [1 Peter 3:15-16. NLT]
The word translated "explain" in our English language (or "reason" in other translations) is the Greek word apologia, which means to give an account of yourself (in a legal sense) or an explanation and defence of your beliefs. From this thoughts emerges the concept of "apologetics", which refers to the development of a reasoned argument for a belief or set of beliefs.
Our faith as Christians involves a great degree of trust, but it is not faith without reason. There are good reasons for faith and we need to be prepared to share them with others. In helping to equip ourselves to know what we believe and why we believe it, there are a number of excellent resources. Here are a few that I would highly recommend:
- www.apologetics.org - a web site sponsored by the C.S. Lewis society.
- Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) - a web site dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith.
- www.apologetics.com - a web site dedicated to challenging believers to think and thinkers to believe.
- Ravi Zacharias Ministries - Ravi's ministry has some excellent resources on apologetics.
- Lee Strobel - Lee was once a devout atheist but came to faith in Christ after investigating the claims of Jesus. He has produced a variety of very good videos and books, including the best-selling The Case for Christ.
- N.T. Wright - Tom Wright is one of today's leading biblical scholars. His writings provide a wealth of material for thinking Christians.
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - this classic is still one of the best explanations of the Christian faith.
As we share about our faith, God does not desire us to do so in an argumentative manner. After all, it is ultimately the Spirit of God that reveals Christ to the human heart, even though truth is often a part of the process.