So many Christians I know are too comfortable in their sphere of knowledge, and unfortunately, that sphere is getting too small. If we are to fulfill the great commission, we’ve got to learn more about our faith, especially in today’s culture. Now, in Western culture (all cultures that are directly influenced by Europe from the Americas to Australia to South Africa, etc.), ideas are spreading that God is a moral monster, that science has disproven God, that evil makes God’s existence unlikely, and that there are many paths to God.
I used to be one of the average Christians who didn’t know how to answer these harsh claims, or defend the accusations mounted against Christianity. I got tired of saying, “I am not sure, but you just need to believe!” Simply because I had the gift of faith didn’t mean others did. That’s why I am currently earning a Master’s degree in Apologetics. I feel called by God to help Christians realize that we need to regroup. We need to train ourselves in the area of right thinking.
Too many of us are guided by mere feelings, which is not entirely wrong, but feelings alone are not enough. Famous Greek Philosopher, Aristotle, recognized way back in 350 BC, that human beings are rational animals. So, being driven by emotions in this entertainment-saturated culture—with mindless sensual experiences—we’re actually betraying our God-given identity! We’re created in His image, and that includes both feelings and intellect.
Christ regularly challenged the thinking in His time, aimed primarily at assumptions of religious leaders (Pharisees), but also at His followers. He taught us about the heart through the head! Never, in Jesus’ mind or in Scripture, is there a splitting of head and heart; they’re meant to go together. (Matt. 22:37.) Believers to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (Rom. 12:2). True knowledge about God, the world, and self is the beginning of wisdom, and provides guidance for faithfully serving the kingdom in a fallen world.
We need to stop being intellectually lazy, and instead, persevere by continually learning. This will help prevent us from becoming too easily tossed to and fro by the winds of popular culture, base appetites, or short memories. We need to take the long view—the BIG picture—God’s grand narrative, and how we fit into His story.
Start by learning the evidences of historical Christianity. One of the best reads I’ve come across lately is by a retired cold-case detective, J. Warner Wallace, who applied his skills to the Resurrection. He wrote a book called, “Cold Case Christianity,” and explains why the eyewitness testimonies of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ are valid. Here is a link to his site for more information: http://coldcasechristianity.com. There are many excellent internet resources out there for you to learn more about defending the Christian worldview, but this one is a good start!
No one ultimately comes to faith by mere knowledge. It is God’s grace that draws us into salvation. Nevertheless, we need to defend Jesus in a world that is denying Him, and keep our minds sharp for Christ. This honors Him, and also strengthens our confidence to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20).