"...seeks to provide rational warrant for Christianity's truth claims." - William Lane Craig
I recently just attended and photographed Faith Beyond Belief's third Be Ready conference, this past weekend. It was another refreshing weekend of understanding reasons and arguments for what I believe in as a Christian.
First speaker of the evening was Paul Copan, who spoke on the topic "Is God a Moral Monster?"
I honestly don't remember a whole lot from his talk due to the fact that he was the first speaker and I was trying to get my camera settings right with the new lighting. The little bit I was able to extract was the point that God has morally justifiable reasons for allowing what may seem to be morally unjust actions/events in our eyes.
The following morning, we had Gary Habermas speak about "12 Facts About the Resurrection Even Skeptics Agree With".
From what I've heard, the highlight for many people with Gary's talk was his human timeline approach of demonstrating how the Gospels and Pauline letters are historically trustworthy. This is important to note as the most direct accounts of the resurrection are stated in the Gospels and some of Paul's letters.
This next section Gary talked about grabbed my attention as well. It's not often you hear talks about doubt or emotional doubt (to be specific) in church settings, but yet so many people struggle with this form of doubt.
emotional doubt - feelings of doubt with little/no factual reasons for one's feelings
"Our faith in Christ wavers not so much when real arguments come against it as when it looks improbable--when the whole world takes on that desolate look which really tells us much more about the state of our passions and even our digestion than about reality."
most typical question(s):
what if... we are wrong?
"Scripture is central to the healing process and its truths are to be applied. Therefore, counselling goals and desired results are based on an objective Source."
Obviously this topic goes much deeper, so if you're interested for more on this issue, just Google "Dealing with Doubt - Gary Habermas".
The next speaker was former atheist, Mary Jo Sharp.
Mary Jo is so lovable and engaging. Her ability to effectively communicate and reason her faith vs other beliefs is admirable. It's so true that many people (Christians included) do not know how to logically give reasons for their values and beliefs in life, which is another reason why apologetics is of some value.
The final speaker was Frank Turek.
This guy is full of energy and grit when he speaks. I think my biggest takeaway from Frank was on the topic of morality its need to be grounded from someone, being God. He really hit this on the head during the debate at UofC, where he demonstrated objective morals do exist and these morals come from God. Never really realized the fullness of this argument until he unpacked it during the debate and conference.
So why apologetics?
In my short opinion, it's important to:
- Understand why we believe in what we believe in
- Respond to personal factual doubt
- Be informed ambassadors of Christ
- Strengthen and support fellow believers
- Share the Gospel and engage in factual/logical conversations
"but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect" - 1 Peter 3:15