Hero-MaryJoSharp

This is the second part in a two-part series from Mary Jo. To read the first part about her faith journey from atheism to belief in Jesus, click here.

Several years ago a friend asked me the question, “Why would a woman want to go to a session on apologetics?” Her question hit me like a load of bricks. I was so excited about finding answers to my doubts that I had never considered that there was a lack of women in this field (or, as the question implies, a lack of interest from women). I have come to discover, however, it is not so much a lack of interest as it is a lack of acquaintance. So I will begin with a basic introduction to the term.

Apologetics means to make a defense of what you believe. It is about offering reasons for the hope that you have in Jesus Christ. The word itself comes from the Greek word apologia, which is found in 1 Peter 3:15, “defense.” In this passage, Peter encourages a group of persecuted Christians to not be afraid of the people who persecute them. Instead, he says to set apart Christ as Lord, which includes always being ready to tell others the reason for your hope.

I find that apologetics serves us in three ways: to answer doubts, to build confidence, and to be a vehicle for life change. Apologetics is a field that handles the difficult questions people have regarding belief in God. Some of those questions include: 1) How can anyone say God is good, when there is so much evil in the world? 2) How do I know that Jesus rose from the dead? 3) Why should I trust the Bible? and 4) How do I know God exists?[1] Unanswered questions may eventually lead to doubt.

Those doubts, after festering for many years, can lead a person to live a defeated life; one that lacks the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Further, a person cannot reasonably trust God if they do not know whether or not He exists: in bigger things such as salvation, or even in smaller things found in daily living. Yet, when a person begins to answer their doubts those answers can build their confidence in what they believe. As a person gains confidence in their faith, that confidence can begin to change their lives.

The focus of my apologetics-based Bible study, Why Do You Believe That?, is to get women into productive and effective conversations about God. One Texas woman told me that her workplace used to be hostile towards discussion of faith, but after implementing some basic question-asking tactics, the workers look forward it! Each of us can do a lot more than we may think in engaging folks in conversation about God. Apologetics can help us find the right questions to ask others and help us to give reasonable responses to the questions asked of us

In speaking to women’s groups, I have found that women are truly excited about apologetics. Women want to know what they believe and why they believe it. Plus, they want to share this knowledge with those they love. I praise God for this excitement in the body of Christ!

[1] As Hebrews 11:6 states, “anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Mary Jo is also the author of Why Do You Believe That? A Faith Conversation. Why Do You Believe That? is a 7-session Bible study designed to help women gain the understanding and skills to share Jesus effectively with others. For a free sample, click here. You can read more from Mary Jo at ConfidentChristianity.com or on Twitter @MaryJoSharp.

Comments

  1. I am so glad that Mary Jo has provided such great knowledge for women. We live in a culture where we must be equipped to not only share our faith, but defend it. Knowledge is power. So let’s power up! Then we can make a difference with our own personal testimonies and the truth of God’s Word.

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