The Hope Within

I was raised in a Christian home. The Bible was held in high esteem as God's Word, historically true, inerrant in content, completely trustworthy for all matters of life and doctrine. The Book itself was held in high regard. If you carelessly dropped a school book on the ground you were reproved--but dropping your Bible carelessly was an offense of much greater magnitude. So it was at a young age I rested my soul's eternal welfare upon what it said. It seemed so simple. "God said it, I believed it, and that settled it."

When confronted with evolution, I scoffed it off as foolishness and never even spent time thinking about the answers to such nonsense. When I said so in class, the teacher was unhappy, but the majority of the students didn't even comment. Thus I brushed it off and continued with life.

All that was 30 years ago. Now we live in a completely different world--a world in which Christianity is being systematically undermined by the educational system and the media. The time we live in has been called a post-Christian era. Many people under 30 today have no real sense of the Bible or its contents. Why should anyone believe in the Bible? What makes it different from any other piece of classical literature? Is it not a relic from the past filled with myths, stories, and superstitions that have no relevance for today and should be housed in some museum? When confronting non-Christians today, a host of questions are being asked that never even entered my mind. They do deserve an answer if we want to be credible witnesses.

Does this mean I need to take a crash course in humanistic philosophies, or logic, or archeology? No, by no means. But it does mean, I need to ask myself a variety of questions as I read and study the Scriptures. In that way, as I am confronted, I may be able "to give an answer to every man that asketh . . . a reason of the hope" that is in me (1 Pet. 3:15).

Three books that have helped me in this regard are Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands A Verdict, C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, and Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks' When Skeptics Ask. These are complementary books but certainly not the same.

Mere Christianity is a compilation of radio broadcasts given in the mid 1940's. In this book, Lewis demonstrates the distinctiveness of Christianity from non-Christian philosophies. He makes a great case that Christianity is in fact intellectually as well as spiritually satisfying. It has been used of God for many years to point people to the Lord Jesus Christ as Someone whose claims are worth considering.

Evidence That Demands a Verdict deals with the historicity of the Bible. This book examines the arguments of those who say the Bible is not reliable or has historical errors in it. The Bible is shown to be a reliable book, as demonstrated in its unique compilation, the many prophecies that have been fulfilled, as well as extra-biblical evidences such as archeology and ancient documentation that agree with the biblical account.

When Skeptics Ask is set in a question/answer format. When a skeptic asks about God, evil, miracles, or the afterlife, how do we answer him? This book goes a long way toward answering those questions.

These books are written in a non-technical style that is easily grasped. If you are bothered by these questions or are reaching someone who is, these books can be a great help. Remember that not all people have these philosophical questions and the answers to these problems do not lead a person to Christ. But sometimes nonbelievers have good questions that need answers before we may have a hearing for the greatest message in the world: that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this world, lived, died for our sins, and rose again the third day for our justification, thus making a way for all to live forever in His presence.