Thankfully, learning to defend our faith is not nearly as difficult as one might think. In fact, it all boils down to being able to deal with three major apologetic issues.
First and foremost is the issue of origins. How people view their origins will determine how they live their lives. If you suppose you are merely a function of random processes you will live your life by a different standard than if you know you are created in the image of God and accountable to him. In the final analysis more consequences for society hinge on this issue than on any other.
Furthermore, because of its centrality to Christianity, those who take the sacred name of Christ upon their lips must be prepared to defend the historical reality of his resurrection. The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions. Through the resurrection, Christ demonstrated that he does not stand in a line of peers with Abraham, Buddha, or Confucius. He is utterly unique. He has the power not only to lay down his life but to take it up again. The apostle Paul put it plainly, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). Without the enduring reference point of scriptural authority, societal norms are reduced to mere matters of preference.
Finally, we must be equipped to demonstrate that the Bible is divine rather than merely human in origin. If we can successfully accomplish this, we can answer a host of other objections by simply appealing to the authority of Scripture. If the Bible is merely human in origin, then it stands in a long line of peers with other holy books. If, however, we can demonstrate the Old and New Testaments to be divine in origin, they are the authority by which to govern our lives. Without the enduring reference point of scriptural authority, societal norms are reduced to mere matters of preference.
Because of the transcendent importance of these apologetic issues, I have organized a memorable acronym for each of them. First is the F–A–C–E that demonstrates the farce of evolution (Fossil record, Ape–men fictions, Chance, Empirical science). Furthermore, resurrection is the greatest F–E–A–T in the annals of recorded history (Fatal torment, Empty tomb, Appearances of Christ, Transformation). Finally, Bibles contain M–A–P–S demonstrating that its details and descriptions are rooted in history and evidence (Manuscripts, Archaeology, Prophecy, Statistics).
For further study, see Hank Hanegraaff, The FACE That Demonstrates the Farce of Evolution (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1998); and, Hank Hanegraaff, Resurrection (Nashville: Word Publishing, 2000). For a treatment of M–A–P–S, see The FACE That Demonstrates the Farce of Evolution, appendix B.
1 Peter 3:15
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who
asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect.”