Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. 1 Peter 3:15
Just as the biblical figures of Paul and Peter were ever-ready to give a defense to various groups for the hope that they had in Jesus, Christians today should arm themselves with scripture to defend their faith and the authenticity of the Bible.
According to Barna Research, 59-69 percent of people ages 18-29 are leaving the church or rethinking their faith. Mike Licona, a frequent speaker at [un]Apologetic conferences and noted apologetics expert, found that of the reasons young people give for leaving their faith, many of their questions can be directly addressed through apologetics.
While television, news articles and circulating social media information circulate questions like the truthfulness of Jesus' resurrection, being well-informed on the accuracy of the Bible can help alleviate many doubts. Ultimately, "The only reason you would give up your current worldview and jeopardize your relationships is because you believe the Christian worldview is true," Licona said.
Students may not feel the freedom to doubt or have the impression that the faith they were taught was counter-science or anti-intellectual, according to Licona.
"Could it be that science and the Bible are not in conflict but science and my interpretation of the Bible are in conflict?" he asked. "Even scientists don't agree on everything. It's good to question some of the scientific findings."
Licona has a number of resources available through his website, Risen Jesus, that can equip believers with knowledge to defend their faith.
The Texas Baptist Evangelism Ministry, under the leadership of Scott Willingham, coordinates regional [un]Apologetic conferences around the state each year. By addressing current ways to remove obstacles to evangelism, these conferences serve as a great training for lay-leaders and ministers alike.
"The word 'truth' is spoken often at these conferences, because we address the historicity of the Bible," Willingham said. "The Gospel is true, therefore evangelism is needed to express that truth to the lost. We are helping prepare Christians with the knowledge they need to express that truth."
Visit texasapologetics.com for the upcoming [un]Apologetic conference January 29-30, 2016, at First Baptist Church in McKinney and other spring 2016 conferences.