First Peter 3:15 says to sanctify God in your heart and be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks of the reason of the hope that is within you. Jude 1:3 exhorts you to earnestly contend for the faith. The Gospels show that Jesus was frequently being accused and challenged to give an answer to justify Himself. The apostles were threatened, criticized, and persecuted. Hebrews 11:36-38 recounts that:
“… others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”
Being Christian does come with a price. Granted, in America, Christians have been at peace for the most part. The country was founded on Biblical principles and Christ’s teachings were highly regarded. But historically, this is an anomaly for Christians. And the trend in America is increasingly hostile toward Christianity. Just as Jesus was accused falsely, criticized, and opposed, most Christians throughout history and in the world today are discriminated against. And while in America, for most of its history, there has been little need to defend Christianity, there has always been critics.
Jesus’s critics frequently tried to discredit Him and challenged His authority. They demanded of Him answers. Jesus handled them very well. They apostles gave answers to their critics. And First Peter 3:15 tells you to do no less.
The ministry of specializing in giving answers comes from the word ‘answer’ in First Peter 3:15. In the Greek, this word is ‘apologia‘. And so the ministry of giving answers is called ‘apologetics’. This is a vast field of study, and there are multitude of topics to cover, so I will list a brief systematic outline of apologetic topics that will serve you well in studying questions and providing answers for those who ask. Failure to provide an answer has misled many, who otherwise would have considered listening to the Gospel, to reject it. Christ’s opponents are publishing and broadcasting their criticisms to influence people not to regard the teachings of Christ. It is up to you and all other disciples of Christ to give an answer to everyone who asks of the hope that is in you.
In a war of ideas, authority is the foundation of credibility, so the Bible is the target of Christianity’s critics. But many of these critics have a few presuppositions that must be challenged before they are ready hear a defense of the Bible. There are four fundamental questions that should be answered systematically in order to make a credible case for the Biblical world view. The answers to these four questions determines the validity or fallacy of all world view’s. Essentially, these four questions make or break world views.
- Is there more than a physical world?
- Is there a God?
- Which God is the true God?
- How is truth known?
A systematic approach to answering questions is very useful in apologetics. Take for example an atheist who wants to debate you on Biblical inspiration. Regardless of your answers, he will reject your defense because he does not believe there is a God to inspire the Bible. Likewise, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or others of different faiths need to have settled in their minds that Jesus is God in order to accept evidence that the Bible is inspired by God. By answering these four fundamental questions in systematic order, world views are easily sorted out. The following list illustrates how this works.
- Question one eliminates the credibility of secular humanism and Marxism because they deny the existence of a spiritual world.
- Question two eliminates the credibility of many New Age religious ideas because they deny the existence of God though they accept spirituality.
- Question three eliminates the credibility of Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism because they believe in God but deny Jesus’ deity.
- Question four eliminates the credibility of pseudo-Christianity because it denies that God has preserved His inspired Word for us.
Though there are hundreds of topics and thousands of questions, most are taken care of with answers to these four fundamental questions. By establishing the authority of the Bible, you now have an authoritative source for answers to all other questions.
The next set of hot topics questions to have answers for include:
- Creation science v. evolution
- Salvation by grace and kept by grace without works
- The diety of Jesus Christ
- The localness of the church that Jesus built
And for Christians looking for answers to gain greater understanding of the Bible, there are resources of answers to Bible questions. The Leadership Training Institute of America, founded by Dr. Briney, sponsors a one week national conference in Washington, D.C. specifically focused on world view warfare and Biblical apologetics. It is one of the best ways to see the U.S. Capitol, meet world leaders, and learn about the Biblical world view.
Dr. Briney has published several books that have helped missionaries, pastors, and many others in their apologetic ministries. Below is a list to help you find and give answers to those who ask you of the hope the lies within you.
- Answers for Skeptics (Español, Czech), gives evidence for God’s existence, Jesus’ resurrection, Biblical inspiration, creation, and explains why a loving God allows suffering in the world.
- Bible Answers to Bible Questions (Spanish), answers to over 450 questions most often asked in Bible studies).
- Convincing the Gainsayers: Deity of Jesus Christ (Español), Can you show in Scripture why Jesus is God? Some use the Bible to argue that He is not. This lesson is a written dialogue showing how to answer those who do not believe that Jesus is God.
- Convincing the Gainsayers: Saved by Grace (Español), Can you show in Scripture why salvation is by grace and not works? Some use the Bible to argue that it is by works or both grace and works. This lesson is a written dialogue showing how to answer those who do not believe that salvation is by grace only.