Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Defend your Faith

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

Recently my daughter was given an assignment by one of her teachers to interview someone from another religious perspective, preferably a cult member. Now that would be a difficult task. I was pleasantly pleased to discover that not only was she able to find a good candidate, a Jehovah’s Witness, but was able to have a good dialogue as well.

After “debriefing” her I discovered that she felt that she was fairly solid on her theology, but felt that she could have been better prepared to defend some of her positions from the Bible.
Typically a cult member is well versed in a limited number of doctrines and have their skills honed to defend a particular stance. Many orthodox Christians have a general knowledge of Scripture and orthodox theology, but are not experienced in defending their position.

According to the Apostle Peter’s admonition, the Christian should be prepared to give a credible argument for his faith. A follower of Jesus Christ should know what, why, and how to defend his belief.

It is true that the Bible is a large volume and theology is a massive subject. It is unrealistic to ask the average layperson to be a master of this subject. In my own experience I have an advanced seminary degree in theology, yet I am ever learning. My grasp of theology is not much more than a thimble full of the ocean of its depth. So can we really expect more from the “non professional” Bible student?
Yes and no. Most people will not be able to defend every doctrine, but they should be able to defend some doctrines. At the very least one should be able to explain from Scripture the gospel, the person and nature of Christ, the nature of God, and the nature of man.

Let me give you a challenge.

Can you give a concise explanation of the gospel using the Scriptures?
Can you explain who Christ is including His divinity and humanity from the Bible?
Can you describe the nature of God and man from the Word of God?

If you can perhaps you are better prepared to heed the Apostle Peter’s admonition. If you are not perhaps you may want to take some extra time ‘cracking open the Book.”

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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