I often hear statements like this at speaking events when people excitedly share their journey to the cross. I’m sometimes surprised at how many people have a story similar to my own. A few years back, Abdu Murray (an ex-Muslim) interviewed me for his radio show and told me about the role evidence played in his own conversion story. When skeptics of apologetics (usually Christians) tell me they’ve never met anyone who came to faith through apologetics, I typically tell them they know at least one person, if they know me. My journey to the cross is outlined in Cold-Case Christianity as I recount the evidence God used to bring me to the truth.
When someone says they “came to faith through apologetics” or they “became a Christian through the evidence,” I usually take the time to ask them what they really mean when using these expressions. They commonly describe a journey illustrating the sovereignty and power of God to call and transform the lives of His children. In each of these cases, God merely used the evidence as the means by which He called those who needed an evidential approach. God can clearly use whatever approach He desires, as He reaches out to each of us in the manner He knows will be most effective. We see examples of God using the preaching of evangelists, the words of Scripture or the appearance of a vision. God is God, and He’ll do whatever He pleases. For some of us, He is pleased to use the evidence.
That’s why I’m often surprised by those who would oppose an evidential approach. I’m not just an evidential Christian case maker because I favor this form of apologetics theoretically. I’m an evidential Christian case maker because this form of apologetics was instrumental in my own journey to the cross. I favor this form of apologetics experientially. Like so many others, the power of the evidence was part of my own conversion experience and it’s from this experience that I now share with others. God called me, removed my enmity toward Him, and then shared the evidence I found so persuasive. I now hope to be used by God in a similar way as He calls others home.
If you’re a Christian, I would encourage you to think about how God brought you to the truth. Whatever the process, I bet He can use you in a similar way to share the truth with someone else. I’m not concerned about your apologetic or evangelistic approach. I really don’t have a favorite. I do, however, have a personal experience from which to shape my own particular approach. I bet you do too. If God used evidence to help you turn a corner, maybe I can help you better articulate this evidence to a new generation, called by God and shaped like you and me. Someday, maybe someone else will find themselves saying, “I came to faith through apologetics.”
For more information about the nature of Biblical faith and a strategy for communicating the truth of Christianity, please read Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith. This book teaches readers four reasonable, evidential characteristics of Christianity and provides a strategy for sharing Christianity with others. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Forensic Faith DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.
J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.
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