Youth Needs Apologetics
Growing up, my exposure to apologetics was limited and my approach to my faith was embodied with disinterest and complacency. Sundays were days I went to church and Jesus was someone I was supposed to believe in. A genuine relationship with God seemed absent and I felt a deep longing (and void) in my heart that seemed to consistently grow.
Fast forward to my second year of college. During this time, I had the opportunity to continue to live in the freshman dorms, serving as a mentor to incoming freshman students. I befriended a freshman who I considered to be an intellectually-inclined, thoughtful individual deeply rooted in his faith. One night, in the middle of one of our many “fireside chats,” we engaged in dialogue that changed my perspective on my faith to this day. The conversation went something like this:
Friend: Andrew, if Jesus did not raise from the dead, would you still be a Christian?
Me: What do you mean “if Jesus did not raise from the dead…?” That’s not even a possibility.
Friend: Let’s say substantive evidence was discovered, hypothetically, and it was confirmed that Jesus indeed died and never rose. For our example, let’s say remnants of the body were discovered and it was unequivocally that of Jesus. Would you still be a Christian?
Me: Yeah...yeah I would.
Friend: Do you know what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14-17?
“And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:14-17
I was left dumbfounded. It wasn’t so much because of what I read in the text itself, but more so due to the utter realization that not once in my short 20 years of life did I consider the weight of what our entire faith hinges on: the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
At this precise moment, I felt a mixture of emotions. Of those emotions were two prominent feelings I recall quite vividly: gratitude and fear. I was grateful for the opportunity God had given me to be challenged in this way by someone whom I trusted. At the same time, I felt fearful, as my own assessment of my faith was not favorable. I repeatedly asked myself, “do I even know what I believe or who I believe in?” This conversation with my friend served as the launchpad for my pursuit of Truth, leading to my desire to dive deeper into apologetics and investigate my faith more thoroughly. As I continued my journey in apologetics, I soon realized that in order to defend your faith, you must understand it.
Events like reThink Apologetics Conference this past September further help equip our youth with the tools they need not only to dialogue with the world effectively, but to also equip them with a deeper knowledge of the Truth, in an effort to strengthen their own faith. As they continue to grow, let us consistently reinforce the truth of the gospel to them: Jesus actually lived, Jesus actually died, and Jesus actually resurrected. Therefore, we have every reason to confidently boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.