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Why Do You Believe What You Believe?

by Krislyn Placide

Are you prepared to give a defense for the hope that is in you? The Apostle Peter states that all believers should be ready to do this (1 Peter 3:15). The word “defense,” as written in the original Greek language, is “apologia,” and it’s where we get the word for Apologetics. Every Christian can benefit from studying apologetics, not only as a tool for evangelism, but also to provide a firm foundation for their belief.

We can use apologetics to answer questions from skeptics and believers alike. While many Christians may be ready to share their testimony, we can greatly benefit from applying evidence and reason to defend the faith, too.

Apologetics pulls mainly from five academic disciplines:

  1. Theology – the study of God
  2. Anthropology – the study of man
  3. Ethics – the study of morality
  4. Epistemology – the study of knowledge
  5. Metaphysics – the study of first causes

When discussing their faith, people will speak from their worldview, which is how they come to their understanding of truth. Every worldview must answer these four basic questions:

  1. Origin – where did we come from?
  2. Meaning – why are we here?
  3. Morality – how should we live?
  4. Destiny – Where do we go after we die?

A worldview can be shaped by fideism, pragmatism, experientialist, rationalism and evidentialism.

  • For example, if I believe in the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” because of my faith, my worldview is shaped by fideism (the doctrine that knowledge depends on faith or revelation.)
  • If I believe because this idea fits my lifestyle, I’m a pragmatist.
  • If I believe this because I’ve had an encounter with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I’m an experientialist.
  • If I used logic to prove the Flying Spaghetti Monster is Lord, my worldview is based on rationalism.
  • If I believed in the Flying Spaghetti Monster because of the evidence presented, I’m an evidentialist.

However, in order to show to someone that Christianity is true and the Flying Spaghetti Monster is false, I must apply the three tests for truth: logical consistency, empirical adequacy and experiential relevance.

Logical consistency as a test for truth means that truth cannot contradict itself. By studying the Bible in context, we find that the truths in the Bible do not contradict themselves, a test that several other religions have failed.

Empirical adequacy refers to whether truth is observable. The teachings of Jesus pass this test with flying colors, to the point where skeptics and people of many faiths repeat the words he spoke. No other historical figure or prophet had a better understanding of human nature.

The final test, experiential relevance, asks whether a worldview can be lived out. While many religions are based on how well we can perform or earn salvation, Christianity is based on the finished work of Christ. He is the one who saves, and he is the one who transforms the hearts of people. All we do is surrender our lives to him and allow him to do his perfect work.

Through apologetics, we can tackle subjects such as the problem of evil and suffering, uncover evidence for Jesus, and show that the Bible is true beyond a reasonable doubt.

Don’t take my word for it—use this information as a jumping off point for your own research! And a great place to start is right here, at the Women in Apologetics’ website. Go to the search bar, type in any apologetic-related subject, and begin to learn from the best women in the field.

Disclaimer: All views expressed by those associated with this ministry or on our platforms do not necessarily represent the opinions of Women in Apologetics, Inc. or its individual team members.

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