The question is: “Should we argue the Bible with unbelievers?”
In I Peter 3:15-16 God says: “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”
Proverbs 26:16 contrasts the lazy person who fancies himself to have a grasp of the issues with those who can “render a reason.” That verse reads: “. . . the sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.”
That verse implies one should study the Bible in such a fashion that he can present persuasive arguments for it. The activity is hard work and distasteful to the sluggard.
But it does not necessarily require we have a particular advanced degree. Indeed, the Bible informs us: “Now when they saw he boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled. And they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts4:13).
Being regularly under godly instruction and studious in studying the Word of God will prepare us to reason with unbelievers we meet. Some suggest that we should never dispute with unbelievers. Yet we find the Apostle Paul, “went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 19:8).
These are strong words of defense and debate. Jude exhorts us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Believers must stand up and defend the Bible and Bible truths without being disagreeable. May we always be like Stephen, who in Acts 6:9 was found disputing in the synagogue and yet had a sweet spirit, even forgiving his murderers.
If you have a Bible question write to Pastor Lenard Huebscher, Grace Baptist Church, 12721 75th St. North, Stillwater MN 55082. 651-430-3132.