According to Greg Koukl, any Christian desiring to defend the Christian faith needs three things. I think he’s spot on:
- Basic knowledge
Let me explain why I think these three things are more than just another list compiled in order to convince another reader. I’ll do so by pointing out how each component shows up in a conversation with someone skeptical of the Christian faith.
1. Basic Knowledge
How would you respond if asked, “but how do you really know that Jesus existed? I mean, historically, what proof do you actually have? I’m not trying to be unreasonable, I just want to know what warrant Christians have for going around claiming that he’s still alive…”
What Koukl means by “basic knowledge” is the content of the response to this question. Our ability to provide this person with several pieces of evidence for the historicity of Jesus depends on whether or not we have basic knowledge.
This builds on basic knowledge. “Wisdom,” as the second component of an effective witness concerns our ability to winsomely and confidently communicate basic knowledge. It answers the question, “how do I present the knowledge I have in a way that is respectful and allows dialogue? With what kind of demeanor and approach am I going to both speak and ask questions?”
Generally, “character” is a broad term. Here it refers to what we might call the “life-witness” (as apposed to the “word-witness”) that you and I have.
By engaging (the hypothetical skeptic) with words you may be able to effectively communicate ideas and truth claims. But we may as well forget about any kind of lasting impact if we’re not willing to live in accordance with the “narrow is the way that leads to life” kind of claims that Christians are entrusted with.
Tackling all three in one book would be impossible. Thankfully that’s not what Koukl sets out to do. His approach instead is to focus on the second item: Wisdom.
The goal is to have a “game plan” for engaging in conversations with skeptics – to figure out, “how do I respond with the knowledge that I have? Should I simply respond to objections or try to raise some of my own? How can I go about doing that?”
I’m excited to share some of the tactics Koukl suggests we implement in our conversations with skeptics of the Christian faith in the upcoming days. I’ll keep you posted!