There was a recent article in The Christian Post called Most Christians Cannot Explain their Faith, Says Appologist. The apologist was Josh McDowell and here is part of what was said in that article.
In his 50 years of ministry, McDowell has asked several thousand pastors and leaders how they could be certain Jesus Christ said “I am the truth” and not one of many truths or a truth.
“Not one person has ever given me an intelligent, biblically-based answer,” said the author of The New Evidence that Demands A Verdict.
During the past six years, he asked hundreds of Christians and leaders why they see themselves as Christians. Again no one gave him an “intelligent” answer.
In the past 17 years, he has asked over 4,000 pastors, leaders and parents why they believe the Bible is true.
A mere six “came close to giving an intelligent answer,” McDowell noted.
“If anything is based upon truth, it’s the Christian faith,” he said. “Christians who do not know why they have faith or believe have a very difficult time expressing themselves to others.
“The saddest thing is people come to me and say, ‘What’s the answer?’”
“I say, ‘There’s no answer… There are hundreds of answers.’”
Most Christians, even some pastors, don’t even know one. On the other hand, the apologist said he could give 50 reasons for his belief that the Bible is true.
After that statement you would think none of the church leaders that goes to his seminars has ever read or understood any of Josh Mcdowell’s books? I have to admit myself that even I could never get through his Evidence Demands A Verdict. Sorry Josh. I do have that book in my library but I never could get through the first chapter or three without falling asleep. Maybe it has something to do with the tedious contents of the book or maybe it is because I already knew all I needed to defend my faith. If I ever need something that reads like a text book for some defense of the faith I know McDowell’s book is available.
I really have to think that these claims are an exaggeration by McDowell or at least he is over critical. Surely there were at least 7 out of the 4,000 that can explain why the Bible is true! I also think at least one pastor over a period of fifty years gave Josh McDowell an intelligent answer why Jesus Christ said “I am the truth” and not one of many truths or a truth. I think Josh just forgot. Old age will do that to you. Forgetting the exaggerated claims, it is not hyperbole to claim that many Christians and even church leaders cannot intelligently defend their faith.
I believe I can give reasons for my own faith right off the top of my head and none of them as far as I know come from McDowell’s book. I do not know if they are intelligent answers in his eyes but they are reasonable answers in mine.
Reasons that I know Jesus is the only way to God and that the Bible is true.
The Bible - It is the foundation for Christian belief. We know through many separate proofs that the manuscripts that we have are totally reliable. For example, there is the translation of the Old Testament into Greek before the time of Jesus that says much the same thing as our more modern translations of the Hebrew. Also, the dead sea scrolls prove that the Hebrew biblical texts have not changed over the years. We also have the writings of ancient historians like Josephus that give a similar account from creation until his own time.
There are many more manuscripts of the Old Testament and New Testament than anything ever written in ancient times by far. The manuscripts come from many different historical sources but confirm the same message. In addition to the huge amount of manuscripts of books of the Bible we have the manuscripts of those who wrote about the Bible and the Christian faith since the first century.
It is not even remotely possible that the Bible could be a work of man. The Bible consists of 66 books written by 40 different authors over a period of over one thousand years and all books stand on their own without error and build on the others without conflicting with the writings of any of the other 66 books. Like Chuck Missler says, “the Bible is a integrated message system from outside our time domain”. The whole Bible speaks of Jesus working in His own creation through time. Knowing the Bible is a totally reliable account for history and for our faith and for our Christian practice establishes biblical reasons to believe.
Bible prophecy fulfilled – Jesus fulfilled so many Old Testament prophecies that it is mathematically impossible for Jesus not to be the Messiah that the prophets foretold would come.
Israel – A nation established by God to give mankind the Oracles of God. A nation from which the Messiah would come to redeem man. A small nation that many have tried to wipe out throughout history but yet Israel remains today.
The Law – The perfect law of God is the witnesses to us all that mankind is sinful, separated from a God of perfection and in need of salvation. Nothing man can do can change his own sin nature. That is why man must cover his sins by accepting God’s blood sacrifice for our sins.
The empty grave and the eyewitnesses - Even the unbelieving Jews and Romans acknowledge that the body of Jesus went missing from the tomb. There were over five hundred eyewitnesses of Jesus after His resurrection. The Apostles of Jesus and many disciples of Jesus were killed for their belief and not one renounced their claims. People do not suffer and be put to death for lies and some conspiracy that will gain them nothing.
The Church – It is a supernatural work of God. The gates of hell could not prevail against it. The Jews could not stamp it out. Rome could not find enough lions to kill all the new converts. The wolves in sheep clothing throughout the ages could not destroy and mislead all the sheep. The gospel of Jesus Christ is active and preserved and is still reaching out for the lost even after nearly two thousand years of continuing persecution.
The good works of Christians - Almost all good in modern civilization came through Christians. What would the world be like if Christ never came and there were no Christians? Dr. D. James Kennedy wrote a book on this topic if you care to know. The world system would self destruct without Christians and it will self destruct when we do leave.
Persecution of Christians by evil and the perseverance of the saints – Christians are killed all over the world just for their testimony of Jesus Christ. Obviously there is something about Christians that a world controlled by the evil one hates. The world continually hates the presence of God in His people but people of Christian faith have persevered.
Creation – All creation shows a supernatural designer. Taken to any logical conclusion that designer has to be God.
The buck stops here – Even some CEO’s and a few politicians take responsibility for the actions of those under them. God took ultimate responsibility for the Devil and sin in His creation by taking sin upon himself on the cross and destroying the work of the Devil. He now freely offers man the way into a brand new creation.
Logic – The only God that could possibly exist in the universe is the God described in the Bible and displayed in Jesus Christ. Any God not full of love, justice, righteousness, and mercy and that does not interact personally with His creation could never be known or loved. A God not known in His creation is no God of His creation.
Jesus revealed – No other figure of any religion in all the history of the earth compares with Jesus. He proved that He was from God by doing supernatural works of God. Jesus healed the sick and lame and delivered people from evil spirits. Jesus raised people back to life. Jesus showed his command over His creation by calming the seas, walking on water, turning water into wine and multiplying a few fishes and loaves to feed thousands. He showed his love and mercy by dying for us while we were still in our sins and He showed His divinity by rising from the dead and sending believers in Him the Holy Spirit.
God revealed in Jesus - The God of the Bible showed his love and mercy in Jesus Christ and saves all those who trust in Him. Jesus said He was God and that there was no way to God except through Him. Jesus proved it by the supernatural works like mentioned above, by freely dying for man and by raising Himself from the dead. There are few religious figures that ever claimed to be God and none that could prove it, but Jesus did. If He were not God he would be a lunatic or a liar and not a great teacher like some of other religions claim. Either accept Jesus for who He said He is or quit claiming that He was a prophet or a great teacher. No prophet of God can lie. No man that teaches falsehood is a great teacher.
Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life no man will come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).
Jesus said, “He who hast seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Jesus said, “before Abraham was “I Am” (the name for Jehovah) (John 8:58)
Jesus said, He will be coming again in power and glory with His Father’s angels to establish His kingdom. (Matt 24:30)
Jesus made himself out to Be God and that is why the Jews crucified Him. Jesus Himself said no one comes to God except through Him. So let’s be honest when you claim that Jesus was only a great man of God. Really great men of God are not lunatics and liars. Jesus always was the express image of God (2Co 4:4, Heb 1:3) and today He once again sits with the Father in heaven.
The Holy Spirit revealed – This probably does not qualify as a defense of the faith with Josh McDowell since Mormons and witch doctors also claim some kind of a fleshly spiritual feeling but true born again Christians have the true witness of the Holy Spirit living within them.
Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.