The Hope Within

I was raised in a Christian
home. The Bible was held in high esteem as God's Word, historically true, inerrant
in content, completely trustworthy for all matters of life and doctrine. The
Book itself was held in high regard. If you carelessly dropped a school book
on the ground you were reproved--but dropping your Bible carelessly was an offense
of much greater magnitude. So it was at a young age I rested my soul's eternal
welfare upon what it said. It seemed so simple. "God said it, I believed it,
and that settled it."

When confronted with evolution,
I scoffed it off as foolishness and never even spent time thinking about the
answers to such nonsense. When I said so in class, the teacher was unhappy,
but the majority of the students didn't even comment. Thus I brushed it off
and continued with life.

All that was 30 years ago.
Now we live in a completely different world--a world in which Christianity is
being systematically undermined by the educational system and the media. The
time we live in has been called a post-Christian era. Many people under 30 today
have no real sense of the Bible or its contents. Why should anyone believe in
the Bible? What makes it different from any other piece of classical literature?
Is it not a relic from the past filled with myths, stories, and superstitions
that have no relevance for today and should be housed in some museum? When confronting
non-Christians today, a host of questions are being asked that never even entered
my mind. They do deserve an answer if we want to be credible witnesses.

Does this mean I need to
take a crash course in humanistic philosophies, or logic, or archeology? No,
by no means. But it does mean, I need to ask myself a variety of questions as
I read and study the Scriptures. In that way, as I am confronted, I may be able
"to give an answer to every man that asketh . . . a reason of the hope" that
is in me (1 Pet. 3:15).

Three books that have helped
me in this regard are Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands A Verdict,
C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, and Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks' When
Skeptics Ask
. These are complementary books but certainly not the same.

Mere Christianity
is a compilation of radio broadcasts given in the mid 1940's. In this book,
Lewis demonstrates the distinctiveness of Christianity from non-Christian philosophies.
He makes a great case that Christianity is in fact intellectually as well as
spiritually satisfying. It has been used of God for many years to point people
to the Lord Jesus Christ as Someone whose claims are worth considering.

Evidence That Demands
a Verdict
deals with the historicity of the Bible. This book examines the
arguments of those who say the Bible is not reliable or has historical errors
in it. The Bible is shown to be a reliable book, as demonstrated in its unique
compilation, the many prophecies that have been fulfilled, as well as extra-biblical
evidences such as archeology and ancient documentation that agree with the biblical

When Skeptics Ask
is set in a question/answer format. When a skeptic asks about God, evil, miracles,
or the afterlife, how do we answer him? This book goes a long way toward answering
those questions.

These books are written
in a non-technical style that is easily grasped. If you are bothered by these
questions or are reaching someone who is, these books can be a great help. Remember
that not all people have these philosophical questions and the answers to these
problems do not lead a person to Christ. But sometimes nonbelievers have good
questions that need answers before we may have a hearing for the greatest message
in the world: that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this world,
lived, died for our sins, and rose again the third day for our justification,
thus making a way for all to live forever in His presence.