“Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.”
Did you know that only 2 in 10 students who attend church regularly in high school are still attending church after college?
2. In. 10.
There is something seriously wrong with that, y’all.
What causes this massive turn-around, you ask?
There’s a hodge-podge of reasons. “Too busy.” Found a different religion. No longer interested.
And the reason that students lose their interest in Christianity?
Again, there are multiple reasons. But a lot of students say that it’s because they don’t believe the Bible is an accurate and infallible account of history.
That statistic begs the question: why?
Why on earth would kids who grew up in the church say such a thing?
It’s simple, really: they’re not being taught otherwise. And when a young soldier heads into the battle unarmored, what’s going to happen?
The enemy wins because the soldier has no defense.
See, the church tells its students how to live a good Christian life. They tell us we have a reasonable faith. They tell us to trust the Bible, to trust God. But they never tell us why.
And how are we supposed to just accept all that as fact without any proof to back it up?
Even worse, some churches go so far as to say you can’t trust the entire Bible, only bits and pieces of it.
If you can’t trust all of it, you can’t trust any of it. You can’t choose the lukewarm grey on this matter; either it’s true or it isn’t. It’s that simple. And you’ve got to decide which side you’re on.
Me? I believe the Bible’s trustworthy. And I will take that belief to my grave and beyond.
And no, that’s not just ‘cause I grew up in the church. Despite what nonreligious people like to claim, I’m not a naïve little girl who can’t think for herself. (*le gasps* You mean Christians actually have brains? “I am all astonishment!”)
Honestly? I have questions too. And yes, I’ve got a few doubts that I struggle with. I mean, I can’t accept something of such magnitude as this blindly. Who can, really?
But see, the difference between me and others is that I don’t immediately use my questions and doubts as proof that this whole Christianity thing is nothing but fundamentalist fairytales either.
I look deeper. I research things.
Because yes, faith is believing in the unseen, and yes, there are certain things we’ll never understand this side of heaven because we’re only human.
But God has given us proof that this faith is reasonable, that it’s a solid Rock we can stand firmly upon and build our entire worldview around.
It’s not ignorance. It’s not blind submission.
You know what is blindness?
Ignoring the evidence He’s given us. Neglecting to teach our youth why they believe what they believe. Not being able to stand up for your faith when someone challenges it.
Let’s open our eyes and take up our armor, y’all.
This is a subject of such magnitude and controversy that it’s impossible to put everything into one blog post, but for this one I wanted to give y’all a few pieces of apologetics armor, to get you started as you look into this for yourself.
Because I don’t actually know everything— don’t take my word for it. I am in no way an expert; I just like to read a lot. 🙂
It’s very important that you determine what you’re going to believe, because yes, this one Book will shape your entire worldview.
It’s radical. It’s controversial.
But it’s also true.
And here are a few books and resources that have solidified my confidence in its Truth:
Answers in Genesis: so there’s this series of books, and then there’s this website. Both are amazing if you want to learn about creation and origins and how we can depend on Genesis’s “In the beginning…” I’ve never been a huge science fan, but AiG has gotten me very interested in all of this— because as Ken Ham (AiG’s founder) says, what you believe about Genesis will shape your worldview. If you can’t believe in the authority of the Bible’s first book, why bother with the rest of it?
Mere Christianity: this book by the amazing C.S. Lewis. Y’all. He explains and defends all the beliefs Christians have in common, and if you know anything about Lewis’s writings you know you have to read this. Also, it’s got one of my favorite quotes of all time:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
More Than a Carpenter: this book by Josh McDowell, a man who used to insult and ridicule Christians— until one of them challenged him to disprove the claims of Christ since he felt so strongly about it. So he set out to do just that, but found the opposite to be true: that the evidence points to Jesus being not only a first-century Hebrew carpenter, but the God He claimed to be.
The Case for Christ: this book by Lee Strobel, a journalist who cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates who are specialists in the areas of old manuscripts, textual criticism, and biblical studies. He challenges them with questions like “How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event?” His searching eventually leads him from atheism to faith. And it’s awesome.
Truth Matters: If you don’t want a book that’s specifically about origins or Christ, but historical evidence for the whole Bible, this one’s a good one to turn to. I actually got it by accident, started reading it out of boredom, and loved it.
So yes. Now that you’ve got tools to start with, take up your armor, take up the Sword of the Spirit, and defend your faith!
Because we certainly aren’t gonna lose this battle for ignorance’s sake.
See, not to be dramatic, but this is [literally] a matter of life and death, and reason will win this war.
And I’d venture to say we’ve got the best Reason of all to fight.