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Street-Level Apologetics

STREET-LEVEL APOLOGETICS

by Joe Coffey

There are two basic ways to discuss your faith with non-Christians. You can testify to what Jesus has done in your own life—how Christ has changed you through the gospel and what being a Christian has meant for you, your family, your church life, etc. That’s the “fruit” side.

The other way is to talk about why Christianity makes sense.

Almost any substantive conversation you might have with unbelievers about Christianity will touch on both topics. And the fact is that we would probably talk a lot more with unbelievers about how we have been changed if we felt we could talk more freely, confidently, and intelligently about why our faith makes sense.

What we need are some basic tools for use in street-level apologetics. After all, faith in Jesus really does make perfect sense, and you don’t need to be a scientist, an historian, an archaeologist, or a philosopher to understand why.

This was the “equipping mission” that pastor and author Joe Coffey took on when he decided to write Smooth Stones: Bringing Down the Giant Questions of Apologetics. He says the book exists for two reasons.

First, too many people think that believing in Christianity means blind faith, against all evidence, the way a child believes in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Second, every few years a new book intended to undermine Christianity becomes a bestseller and shakes the faith of many. Yet the arguments in these books are rarely compelling.

In Smooth Stones, therefore, Joe Coffey gives Christians a simple introduction to the plausibility of Christian faith. He examines six key questions:

  1. Is there a God?
  2. Does science disprove God’s existence?
  3. Is the Bible authentic and true?
  4. Why is there evil and suffering?
  5. Aren’t all religions the same?
  6. Is Jesus for real?

Joe acknowledges that the most important thing is to be able to discuss the “fruit” part of our experience, because that’s where the core of our faith lies. But most of us are especially weak the on the “makes sense” part. Again, why are we weak? Most often, it probably comes down to the fact that we don’t feel equipped to say anything intelligent—so we say nothing, for fear that our bumbling will just make things worse.

Smooth Stones can unmuzzle you to start to speak freely about your faith with confidence and clarity. Click here to read the Introduction and all of Chapter 3: “Is the Bible Reliable and True?”

Smooth Stones; Bringing Down the Giant Questions of Apologetics, by Joe Coffey

 

 

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(This article was adapted from one that originally appeared on challies.com.)

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