"If you can talk someone into Heaven, then you can talk them out."

I’ve been told this multiple times when talking to people about apologetics.

It sounds right. It’s nice and pithy. But it’s simply not relevant.

Just because you can talk someone into something doesn’t mean you can just as easily talk them out. Or that you arguing for it is why they are believing it, and not because they’ve come to the conclusion that it’s actually true. 

Think about it. You were talked into believing 2 + 2 = 4. You were talked into believing it was good to obey your parents. Pretty much everything you believe about reality you were talked into at some point or another, but that doesn’t mean you are just as capable of being talked out of it.

And yes, people are talked out of believing in Christianity. It happens to our youth all the time. About 75% of them leave the church after going to college. But that is not because they were just argued in and just as easily argued out. The problem is that they weren't equipped to handle the new information they encountered.

The solution is not to avoid evidence in helping someone believe. The solution is to help them believe in whatever way works best for them, and then help them truly encounter Christ.

I know a guy who calls himself a unitarian. He grew up in church, but no longer believes in Christ. His main barrier to Christianity is Hell. He doesn't understand how a good God could send someone there.

Just loving the guy isn't going to help him. He doesn't have a problem with the church. He knows people in the church love him. His problem is intellectual.

And for people like him, they need to be "talked into Heaven."

That's why apologetics is important. We're commanded to do it because some people need it.

Others just need to be loved. They need to see someone who cares, because they've never seen that before.

Our job as Christians is to remove whatever barrier is holding them back, so they can see Christ. If they need love, love them. If they need evidence, reason with them.

Whatever the barrier, get it out of the way. Once a person sees Christ, whatever avenue they took, I don't know how they could go back.

The Verse That Makes Me Not Want to Pray

The Verse That Makes Me Not Want to Pray

Calvin, Hobbes, and Free Will