In his classic work, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote that Christ "told us to be not only 'as harmless as doves,' but also 'as wise as serpents.'" Jesus really wants "a child's heart, but a grown-up's head." This is true for all of us. We really need to be discerning in our day and to know our faith better. Here are five reasons we should all earnestly know that "faith once delivered to the saints" more and more (Jude 3).
1. Christians and non-Christians have many misconceptions about the faith.
Many people today have cultural objections and misconceptions that prevent them from understanding, appreciating, or believing God’s Word. Christian apologetics is simply the study of reasons to believe the faith. Theology is the study of God. Studying both apologetics and theology helps us to understand what we believe and why we believe it.
2. There are reasonable answers to doubt and unbelief.
The facts of Christianity can become quickly distorted by common errors and misconceptions. The reasonableness of Christianity is misunderstood, and skepticism is perceived to be reasonable. Studying apologetics and theology gives believers the ability to correct such errors and misconceptions with a gentle and loving spirit.
3. Faith seeks clarity for others.
Faith is a sure trust and hope. The whole heart believes what has been announced by a trustworthy witness. This faith seeks a deeper knowledge of God and his works among us and desires to be a witness to these things to others.
4. Studying removes hindrances to faith in Christ.
In studying doctrine (teaching about God), history, logic, and similar disciplines, Christians can remove hindrances to the faith for those around them. Providing reasoned responses to errors and misconceptions clears the way for people to consider the Bible’s actual claims.
5. Understanding the gospel deepens assurance.
Not only does studying apologetics, theology, and doctrine help others, but it also deepens personal faith and assurance. In attending to these matters, as the Bereans did under the shepherding of the Apostle Paul, faith deepens and personal assurance in God grows.