Knowing Why You Believe What You Believe

When I began honestly investigating reasons for the Christian faith it changed everything.

My faith, over time, became my own.

No longer was my answer for being a Christian, “The preacher said it’s true,” or “Grandma said it’s true.”

It’s ok – very ok – to doubt your faith. John the Baptist, according to Jesus’ own words, was the greatest prophet to ever live. Yet, John, in prison and about to be beheaded for his faith, doubted if Jesus was really the Christ.

Thomas, the eye-witness and close disciple of Jesus, wanted hard proof before he was going to believe something so outlandish as Jesus rising from the dead.

Finally, even as people were watching Jesus ascend to heaven after his resurrection, Mathew records, “some of them doubted.”

Doubt is a parasite of faith.

What’s critical is that we address our doubt rather than accommodate it.

Should someone ask us why we believe what we believe, we are biblically obligated to “give a reasoned, logical defense for our faith.”

I am a pathetically flawed teacher and pastor – one I would encourage no one to emulate.

That said, apparently every now and then I make some sort of sense. Case in point, below are a few comments I received from teens after I led a series of sessions on why the Christian faith is an intelligent, defensible, rational faith.

Here’s what they said:

“Thanks for showing me a way to help my doubting friend.”

“This helped me understand all the possible ways to prove to somebody that God exists.”

“This strengthened my faith in God.”

“This made a huge impact on my own faith.”

“This explains truth.”

“I have learned so much and that Christianity is really true.”

“I’m not sure how to describe it, but my confidence and motivation to share my faith got a shot in the arm this weekend.”

When I think about those teens, and their thirst for understanding their Christian faith, I think of one of my professors during my grad work in Chrisitan Apologetics. Brilliant, articulate, and highly educated – Nancy Pearcey describes herself as a “leaver” of the Christian faith as a teenager.

In a 2010 editorial, Pearcey wrote,

“I became a leaver myself at age sixteen. I was not rebellious. Nor was I trying to construct a moral smokescreen for bad choices. I was simply asking, ‘How do I know Christianity is true?’ None of the adults I consulted offered any answers.”

Ouch.

Young Christians are counting on us to be able to engage in intelligent dialogue where the Christian faith is concerned.

Let’s not fail them.

Let’s fall in love with our Bibles again. Let’s take the time to work through the hard questions of our faith. Let’s teach Christians to be thinkers, and thinkers to be Christians.

Love to you all, Nick