I am convinced that there are many faithful, dedicated Christians who want to advance the Kingdom of God but who get flustered, tongue-tied, or drawn into combative situations when they try to give a reason for the hope that is within them.
In our day, the Christian church culture is saturated with feel-good, easy-believism that does nothing more than encourage people to ask Jesus into their hearts. If those of us who subscribe to a Biblical worldview cannot present a theological and philosophical apologetic to the unbelieving world, we leave the defense of the faith to the pietists and impostors.
You must be so certain of the truths of Scripture and fallen man’s need of salvation that you are ready to speak the truth of the gospel whenever and wherever you are called upon to do so. And, it doesn’t depend on your personality or temperament. You don’t have to come across as a bulldog to prove you are serious about your faith.
Take the little-known Reformer, Pierre Viret. His style did not involve belittling or bullying others. He relied on God’s truth and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to have a transforming effect on those who heard the Word preached. He stated,
“I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and am ready to give a defense of my doctrine and faith to all men, and at any time it is demanded of me. And if there be any priest, monk, or any other whosoever he be, who can prove to me that I have taught anything contrary to the Word of God, I ask not only that you drive me out as a menace to your city, but also that you punish me with such severity that no man dare preach who is not well assured of his doctrine.” *
Viret, like other Reformers, did not shy away from speaking God’s truth to those who opposed the gospel message. In fact, when called upon to teach the Word in difficult circumstances, he responded “yes,” even though he knew he would face persecution for doing so.
If you want a lesson in modern day apologetics, I call your attention to this hour-long video of Pastor Jeff Durbin, as he presents a compelling presentation to a philosophy class at a junior college in Arizona. For those who need assistance in finding the words and the manner in which to engage our culture, this is an invaluable tutorial, given by a man who, prior to surrendering his life to Christ, was well-known in the martial arts community and film industry. However, the “mortal combat” in which he is now engaged, involves rescuing those with whom he comes into contact from their bondage to sin.
*R. A. Sheats, Pierre Viret: The Angel of the Reformation (Tallahassee, FL: Zurich Publishing, 2012), 51.