Why I am a Christian image

Why I am a Christian

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It’s in the nature of things that apologetics can often be a bit defensive. Articles, blog posts and even books come about because, from time to time, somebody who is famous (usually for something that has nothing to do with the historical person of Jesus Christ) pops up and slaps down Christians for being uneducated morons. The job of the apologist, at those times, is to listen carefully to the argument, take on board its strengths, analyse its weaknesses, and provide an ‘answer’ or a ‘defence’ (the meaning of the Greek word apologia which is used in 1 Peter 3:15) for Christian belief in response.

Unfortunately, this can create the impression that people like me just sit there, waiting, until a bombastic attack on Christianity appears so that we can write a carping rebuttal of it. (I’m pretty sure that’s how the people at richarddawkins.net see people like me: sponging off people like Dawkins to make money. The only thing I can say in my defence is that he’s made rather more money criticising my hero than I have out of criticising theirs).
 
The apologist, however, has a positive role to play as well. Even in 1 Peter 3:15, the apologia is an answer ‘to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that’s in you.’ So, while it’s important to explain why certain beliefs don’t make any sense (such as ‘the universe created itself from nothing’, or ‘the existence of suffering disproves God’, or ‘miracles are impossible by definition’), it is, if anything, more important to explain why other beliefs make an awful lot of sense (such as ‘Jesus rose from the dead’). The responsibility of the apologist, and therefore of the Christian, is to give reasons for ‘the hope that’s in you’, or in other words, to explain why you are a Christian.
 
So here’s the explanation I gave, in Eastbourne, a couple of weeks ago.

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