During the first 2 weeks of June, Pravani, Vincent and I had to travel up to Gauteng for a yearly course called Institute of Biblical Studies (IBS). The module we attended was Apologetics. Looking at the name you would think it is the art of apologising, but it actually means the ability to defend your faith. In 1 Peter 3:15 we are encouraged to be ready with an answer when we get challenged regarding our faith and to do it with gentleness and love. And that is why learning the art of Apologetics is so important. There are so many arguments that different religious groups would use to try and discredit what we say and believe. With that in mind we focused on a specific religious group, namely Atheists.
At the end of our 2 week course we heard a lot of concepts and stories. With all that information bouncing around in our heads, we had to make it practical and hand in an assignment. This assignment was to have an A5 size page with key points to help me defend my faith. During the lessons there were different points of view shared – Philosophical, Cosmological, Evolutionary and other academic concepts that gave me a few new wrinkles in the brain.
So what did I take from this 2 week course? Let us look at my A5 card.
- When talking about Christianity, what level is the subject matter?
- Level 1: Conviction – these are the foundational points where God’s Word has spoken often and with clarity. They are the core doctrines relating to salvation. For example – Jesus is the only way to God
- Level 2: Persuasion – Scripture has spoken to us on these topics, but not with overwhelming clarity or in many passages. They involve less important doctrines not connected with salvation. For example – Baptism
- Level 3: Opinion – No clear points in the bible – either mentioned very little or not at all. At the end of the day it is just an opinion. For example – Drinking wine
- Know key scriptures to understand why I need to share and be prepared.
- Why are people getting aggressive in the conversation? Who am I defending? Jesus or myself? It helps keep perspective.
- “If there is no God…” is a hard conversation and it takes more faith to believe there is no God. The 3 points (in red on the image) just help me point out how useless life is without God.
- The argument that Christians have the one true religion is an offensive point for any other religion, so I added a video below to help explain the 2 columns.
Even though I feel I can’t explain academic vocabulary, I am still a Christian and I need to be able to defend my faith. Training like the Apologetics course and others help equip me to be the best witness for Christ. Campus Crusade for Christ has a definition for successful witnessing it goes as follows: “Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.”
All you need to do is take the initiative.
I hope that this update encouraged you and that you will trust God to make a witness of you wherever you go.