"We’ve got to train our kids for war. How dare we send them unarmed into an intellectual war zone? Parents must do more than take their children to church and read them Bible stories. Moms and dads need to be trained in apologetics themselves and so be able to explain to their children simply from an early age and then with increasing depth why we believe as we do. Honestly, I find it hard to understand how Christian couples in our day and age can risk bringing children into the world without being trained in apologetics as part of the art of parenting." ~ William Lane Craig
I now commence my study of William Lane Craig's On Guard: Defending Your Faith With Reason and Precision by summarizing Chapter 1.
1. Apologetics is about defending rather than apologizing for one's Christian faith.
2. The Bible (e.g., 1 Peter 3:15) commands Christians to respond gently and respectfully to nonbelievers' challenges with good reasons for their faith.
3. Defend the faith and present arguments for it without being defensive and argumentative.
4. The better reasons one has for one's faith, the less defensive and argumentative one will be.
5. Apologetics is biblical. (e.g., Luke 24:25-27, John 14:11, Acts 14:17, Romans 1:20, 1 Cor. 15:3-8)
6. There are three reasons why apologetics is important:
I. It can shape culture to make non-believers more receptive to conversion through apologetics and other means.
II. It can strengthen believers in three ways:
A. Make them more confident and assertive in sharing their faith.
B. Help Christians sustain their faith through difficult circumstances.
C. Make Christians deeper and more interesting persons.
III. It can lead others to believe, especially by converting the most intelligent and influential people in society (e.g., doctors, lawyers, engineers, C.S Lewis).
7. Read and study the logical structure and premises of the arguments presented in the rest of the book. If you can respond to non-believers challenges with sound arguments, you make it harder for them to reject or ridicule them or you.