Increasingly Christianity is portrayed as nonsensical. Many believe Christianity runs counter to logic and scientific reality. Just as early Christians defended the faith, we are compelled to do the same. Every believer should be ready to give reason for the hope that is within them (I Peter 3:15). This is particularly important given that many of our young people are receiving instruction in secular settings where faith and science are treated as being at odds with one another.
Below is a list of resources in defense of the faith:
When I was in college, there were just a few books on apologetics, notably "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis and "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell. However, in the last decade there has been a surge of apologetics resources, particularly on video. Below is a list of the ones that I have used in an Adult Sunday School class. If you have limited time, I would recommend the first four. If you want to preview them, I've provided some key sections to get the flavor of each presentation. For those with more time, there’s enough here to teach an apologetics class for a year.
If your meeting room has limited or no internet connection, download all Youtube videos (and some others) by using Keepvid.com. The resulting mp4 videos are always viewable with VLC (free). If you then want to edit out just a clip, use Avidemux (free, windows) to keep just a portion.
- Greg Koukl's Columbo tactic is often referenced by other apologists. In faith conversations with the unchurched we often find ourselves on the defensive. The Columbo tactic allows Christians to "go on the offensive in an inoffensive way", using questions to get to the heart of the matter. Greg Koukl on "Columbo." (short version 22:00 - 25:30)
- Jim Warner Wallace (not to be confused with Jim Wallis of Sojourners) is an expert cold-case detective who has been featured several times on Dateline NBC. His expertise is in looking at eyewitness testimony, often decades old, and determining if it is truthful. While still an atheist, Jim was challenged to apply his techniques to the gospels, and he eventually concluded the NT was reliable, based solely on the evidence. Jim Warner Wallace on "God's Crime Scene." (short version 49:20 - 54:15)
- Frank Turek and Norman Geisler wrote a comprehensive book on the evidence supporting Christianity, entitled "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist". . It brings together evidence from the areas of cosmology, biology, logic, design, morality, the Bible and more. It is an excellent resource written at a layman’s level, and should be in your church library. However, if you are more visually oriented, here’s Frank going through the main points. Frank Turek on “I Don’t have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. 2 parts; part I (short version 52:50 - 56:56), part II (short version 18:10 - 23:30)
- Sean McDowell is the son of author Josh McDowell. He will often pretend to be an atheist and go to church groups to see if they are ready to handle the arguments, both logically and emotionally. After his “atheist” presentation, he will debrief the group on the fallacies presented and how effective and caring their reactions were. Sean can relate to young people exceptionally well. Sean McDowell on "Atheist Challenge." (short version 5:50 - 9:25)
Other related resources:
If you want an overview of the Christian worldview, presented in a conversational manner, this is worth a look. Two men, a “skeptic” and an apologist tour London while talking about the major questions of life. The title is “With No Apology.”
Topics discussed include truth, the Bible, Jesus, other faiths, creation and suffering.
Here’s a compilation of short answers to common apologetics questions: http://kings.church/bigobjections.php
David Instone-Brewer on "Is God a Moral Monster?" Great resource for those who think the OT portrayal of God and Israel was barbaric: http://player.premier.org.uk/media/t/1_g7q0zzzs/13105891
Gary Habermas (Dealing with Emotional Doubt): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHUdDmQxnSE&t=1602s
Greg Koukl (The Intolerance of Tolerance): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG_R9e60Wp4&t=1567s
Sean McDowell (Is there Truth?): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3EVJZEX6Bw&t=1199s
Sean McDowell (If God, why evil?): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH8hJ8V4sTY&t=1411s
Sean McDowell (Cross-Examining Evolution): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7KcWrt_p4k
Frank Turek (Stealing from God): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPhm3coaPa4&t=826s
Craig Hazen (Christ in a world of religions): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdfUGv-0itM&t=263s
Lee Strobel (The Case for Christ): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikxb09pyZwM
Dan Wallace (Did the Early Scribes Corrupt the NT?): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiWKifMu6f8&t=330s
John Dickson (Why historians take the gospels seriously): http://saddleback.com/watch/media/why-historians-take-the-gospel-seriously
Hugh Ross (Cosmic reasons to believe): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY5kMfFUtuI
Other names to investigate: Andrew Wilson, John Lennox, William Lane Craig.
Finally, if you want something a little offbeat and maybe controversial, here is a look at the Shroud of Turin, with some history that you most likely have not heard about before.
Russ Breault on “Shroud Encounter” in 7 short segments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P93I7JQY2lQ
Found broken links or new resources? Let me know in the comments below!