1 Peter 3:15: but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
According to the Bible, we ought to have good reasons for the hope that is in us and in Christ when anyone asks us to give an account for it. In other words, we are biblically commanded by God to train ourselves in a defense of the evidence and reason that is within us for the kingdom awaiting us. Faith, in the historical biblical sense, is not a belief in that which cannot be verified or have good reasons for. David Konstan, Professor of Classics at New York University published a detailed research paper (which can be freely read here) titled Trusting in Jesus in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament regarding the semantic meaning of the Greek word for faith/trust in the New Testament, and writes that;
The only way to determine the precise valences of such crucial terms is to examine them as objectively and critically as possible in their several contexts, and with an awareness of their prior reception… Classical fides and pistis connote both trust and trustworthiness: one has faith people or institutions that are reliable. Such trust operates within families and among friends, and also with regard to superiors, for example between masters and slaves… [and] is manifested above all in relationships, whether political (including relations between states) or commercial, and indeed between human beings and the gods… Because trust is an intangible value, moreover, people tend to seek evidence for it or confirm it by referring to more material signs, such as handshakes, oaths, contracts and divine portents, which serve as proofs Missing, however, in the classical lexicon is any idea of faith as an inner belief in things unseen or in propositions concerning, for example, the nature of the gods. (pg. 249)
The original concept of faith is, hence, a form of trust that people look to verify and understand why they accept to begin with, something that truly couldn’t be made more clear than in 1 Peter 3:15. However, our commands regarding our defense are even more multitudinous than that alone, behold;
2 Corinthians 10:4-5: …We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.
So, we must be ready to not only give a defense for our hope but also be prepared to destroy the accusations set against us. This is all too necessary when it comes to the modern church, with accusations coming from every side against our truth, from the Atheists and the Muslims and whoever else steps against us. More and more, great men from our side such as William Lane Craig and Michael Licona take to handling these accusers, but every Christian should be prepared to do this and engage in study that aids them in their pursuit of spreading the gospel, the good news. Truly, no other belief system on Earth commands its adherents to take part in an intellectual and reason-based pursuit of investigating and defending their theology — other religions simply declare themselves without thinking at all about something like this.
Time and time again, the early church leaders not only stepped forth and defended Christianity from their accusers, but the early church phenomenally destroyed those who sided against them in intellectual debate.
Acts 6:8-10: Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from some members of the Freedmen’s Synagogue, composed of both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, and they began to argue with Stephen. But they were unable to stand up against his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking.
How clear it is now why Christianity spread so quickly soon thereafter the advent of Jesus’ ministry on Earth! Truly, the unbelievers were both told of the truth and shown it, they did not possess any capacity at all to deny it for they themselves were shown, upfront, that they are dealing with the facts of God Almighty Himself. Indeed, we can’t just let the early church leaders take such actions, we must follow their footsteps and take to this ourselves. This blog that I started was created itself, for the sole purpose of administering to the lost and building up a foundation of evidence regarding various histories of the Bible and rebutting the accusations against them, as well as various subjects of God as well. Hopefully, both you and I will be able to partake in our studies as the early leaders did and Jesus Himself who was the intellectual champion of His time, so that when we bring the gospel to the lost, they will surely believe. Thank the good God!
Acts 18:28: for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.