Four interesting conversations have made me very happy I have dug into Christianity rather than just accepting it at face value. Geek that I am, for one reason, and because I have smart friends that ask lots of questions about issues is the reason I jumped into apologetics. According to 1 Peter 3: 15-16, Christians are all supposed to be ‘ready to give a reason for the hope that we have’ in Jesus. How do you face different belief systems and questions without understanding the details of what you believe? How do you use abductive reasoning to test what they believe, what you believe, and accept where the most evidence points?
By following your curiosity, questions, other’s questions, and beliefs to find the answers. I came across this when I was preparing for a gun show to promote Wicked Jester when two ladies walked up while I was loading the truck. After a moment’s conversation, they began questioning me about church and witnessing to me. I wondered if they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. I got the answer quickly when they handed me a card with their web address and street address. They were Mormons; a group I did not even know were in the state honestly. I turned down any further talk because I did not know what to say.
Days later, I was perusing their site, looking at their doctrine, objections, questions, and what they base it on. If they come back, I can now ask them questions from a base of knowledge. I had to do it again when my wife asked me why Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays. I took her through their website and looked at their doctrinal beliefs to find the answer in the FAQ. She asked me which was better-our church, or theirs; I told her it was a matter of truth, not preference. Then I showed the context of the verses they referenced along with related verses as evidence for my case.
It can be something as simple as answering a doctrinal question like the one my sister asked me about the Trinity. I used an analogy C.S. Lewis made comparing water’s three forms. On the other hand, it can be something as complicated as the challenge that Jesus is a combination of ancient savior myths. Can your faith withstand that? Not long ago, mine could not, until I researched, weighed the evidence, and came to a reasonable conclusion. I am not done learning yet; I still dig and learn, and I will conclude with links to some of the resources I use.