Catholic monk St. Francis of Assisi is frequently credited with this popular proverb: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” No doubt you’ve heard this advice somewhere, whether on the radio, in a book, or on a website.
Christians are frequently taught how to “live out faith” through actions. What seems rarer is guidance on how to talk to people about our faith. Notice that St. Francis doesn’t say use words if necessary. Sooner or later someone will engage us in a conversation about the beliefs that influence our behavior.
The Apostle Peter addresses this very scenario, instructing us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
It’s because of this need for readiness that Reasons To Believe is not just about engaging skeptics in a dialogue about the Bible. This ministry is also about equipping Christians so they are prepared for moments when it’s necessary to use words.
RTB president and founder Hugh Ross is an excellent example of a prepared Christian. Every time Hugh comes back from a trip, the RTB staff expects to hear a story about an encounter in an airport or somewhere along the way where he was presented with an opportunity to tell someone about evidence for the God of the Bible.
A little introspection
I’ve been asking myself lately, “Why do I believe?” And I had to admit, I didn’t know the answer. This is not to say that I doubted the Gospel message; just that I hadn’t taken the time to think about why I believed it. I was raised in a Christian environment, but I don’t believe in Jesus simply because I was told to. Even when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at age five, I did it because I wanted to, not because my parents pressured me.
After giving the matter some thought, I came to a conclusion: I put my hope in Jesus Christ the Son of God because I recognized the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in my life. And I hold firm to that conviction because Christianity is a coherent worldview backed by scientific and historic fact.
How about you? What will you say when someone asks you, “Why do you believe in Jesus Christ?”
Of course, Reasons To Believe is overflowing with resources, both free and for purchase, to help believers understand, strengthen, and explain their faith. But if you want a good crash course in science apologetics basics, I’d recommend the booklets Genesis One and God’s Word, God’s World, as well as our in-depth study guide on Genesis 1 & 2, The Bigger Picture on Creation.