Investigating Faith with Lee Strobel, August 1, 2014
Q. Can you offer any practical advice on how to seek answers to spiritual issues?
A. Despite my initial reluctance to seeking spiritual truth, I did do one thing right. I set three principles for myself at the beginning of my search – guidelines that helped me then and that I trust will help you now, whether you’re a skeptic or a Christian with questions.
1. Make the search a front-burner issue.
Finding answers is too important to approach casually or in sporadic snatches of time. I knew – and I hope you agree – that these are urgent matters. Jeremiah 29:13 encourages us to seek God and his truth “with all your heart.”
2. Keep an open mind and follow the evidence wherever it leads.
This principle had been drilled into me as a journalist, and it served me well in my spiritual journey. I had to strive for as much objectivity as I could muster, putting aside preconceived ideas and biases. Only then could meaningful answers be discerned. French philosopher Blaise Pascal said, “Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”
3. When the evidence is in, reach a verdict.
I knew these realities were far too important to ignore. If God is real, and if Jesus is who he claimed to be, then I would have to respond accordingly. Similarly, I hope you’ll decide up front that when you weigh the facts, you’ll allow the evidence to impact your own beliefs.
One more suggestion: Ask the God you may not be sure about to guide you. Just as Jesus honored the doubter who said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24), he will honor your sincere request.
If you’ll apply these principles and seek answers wholeheartedly, I’m confident you’ll discover – as I did – that Jesus was indeed right when he promised in Matthew 7:7-8: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
This excerpt is from my new book The Case for Christianity Answer Book, which offers to-the-point answers to 60 questions about faith. Use it to encourage and equip yourself, or give it to a friend, neighbor, or family member as a gift.
Personal from Lee
• I recently bought... a goat. Yeah, a goat named Gert. Actually, we only purchased 50 percent of her. She lives on a ranch about an hour from our house and is a steady source of... well, goat’s milk and cheese (which Leslie loves). And the grandkids enjoy playing with her. So now I need to change my bio: “Part-time goat herder.” Or maybe, “Part-time herder of a partial goat!” (Here’s a photo of Gert’s kid kissing me on the chin. Got a funny caption? Send it to Leesgoat@gmail.com. Best entry wins signed copy of The Case for Christianity Answer Book.)
• Wow, I was thrilled with what happened recently when I told the story of my spiritual journey at Woodlands Church in the Houston area. About 200 people received Christ and were baptized on the spot – including a 20-year military veteran who had never been in a church before! Nothing better than being a link in the chain as God redeems wayward people. (By the way, Woodlands Church baptized more than 1,400 people in June!)
• I’m thrilled that my son, Dr. Kyle Strobel, has joined the faculty of the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University in La Mirada, CA. He will be a professor of spiritual theology. Serving at Talbot (where Kyle earned two master’s degrees before getting his doctorate) has been his dream for a long time – and this teaching position is a perfect fit for him.
• I took a hiatus from my Bible Gateway newsletter while I finished my new Case book (details on that soon!). Thanks for reading this new version -- and please let others know about it. We’ll be expanding it as time goes by. In the meantime, join me on Twitter (@LeeStrobel) and stop by my website [www.LeeStrobel.com] for the latest updates.
• Speaking of Bible Gateway, check out their new updated website. It looks and works great! I use it all the time.
• Oh, and try testing your biblical knowledge – and have some fun – with our Case for Christianity Answer Book quiz.