Michael Ramsden is the International Director for RZIM and has been part of the organisation since its foundation in Europe in 1997. He is joint Director of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.
I was recently introduced to this material while travelling in the United States. This is a short but outstanding talk about 1 Peter 3:15-16 which says:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
This video is recommended for any Christian who is serious about sharing their faith with those who need to hear the gospel message – the good news of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Michael points out that Jesus spoke to a lot of people during His time on earth. Jesus used logic, corrected peoples faulty logic, challenged their cultural biases, and even pointed out ignorance of the teachings of the Bible. Jesus also flushed out hidden motives, sometimes even refusing to answer his opponents questions.
Here is a broad outline of the talk:
- We must honor Christ and live a holy life if we want to be effective in sharing our faith.
- We must always be ready (capable of presenting our faith in a way that people can understand)
- We must be ready to give a defense of the Christian faith by not just answering questions, but also by asking them.
- We are to give a defense of our faith to those who ask us. If we are not being asked, we should consider whether our lives are a good advertisement for the gospel.
- We must explain that Jesus is the reason for our faith – not how we became Christians!
- We must explain the hope we have – Jesus is our hope. Christ is central to sharing our faith with others.
- We are to share our faith with gentleness and respect so that we can have a good conscience when opposed or criticized. Our demeanor should not alienate our audience or the gospel.
Why Christians should ask questions
- They force people to open up on their general assumptions.
- They force people to open up on their cultural assumptions.
- Questions can be used to expose faulty logic.
- Questions can be used to expose hidden motives.
- They can expose contradictions.
- By asking questions, we can ensure that a conversation rather than a monologue takes place.
- Questions make people think and engage in the conversation.
Michael expounds on each of these points in the video so sit down with a notepad and a coffee and enjoy this wonderful talk!