ABILENE—Christians who learn how to defend their faith logically are obeying the biblical command to love God with all their minds, Eric Hernandez with Texas Baptists’ Great Commission Team told students at Hardin-Simmons University.
Hernandez, apologetics leader and millennial specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, delivered the Cornerstone Lecture Series at HSU.
He emphasized Mark 12:30, in which Jesus identified the greatest commandment: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”
Christians often know how to love God with their hearts and strength, but they often forget to love him with their minds, Hernandez asserted.
“Whether you are picking up a book or picking up your hands, you are fulfilling the greatest commandment and loving God with your heart, mind, soul and strength,” he said.
Ask questions about the Christian faith
Hernandez encouraged Christians to make their churches a place where people can ask questions about the Christian faith.
When people feel that they need to hide their doubts, they often leave the church instead of learning from those around them, he said.
Hernandez pointed to three prevalent philosophies Christians need to be able to refute—relativism, scientism and naturalism.
Relativism is the belief that truth is relative and that there is no right or wrong, he said. Scientism asserts the only way to gain knowledge is through science, and naturalism is the belief that only the physical world exists, he explained.
Explore valid questions
Tanner Clarke, director of the Baptist Student Ministry at HSU, emphasized the importance of the call for students to think deeply about their faith.
“Apologetics often has a negative connotation of arguments, but it is really important for us to have an understanding of our faith, especially when we are sharing our faith with someone,” Clarke said.
The study of apologetics is important for college students who are beginning to make their faith their own, he insisted.
“In college, a lot of students are asking why they believe what they believe. They’re asking things like, ‘How can a good God let there be evil and suffering in the world?’ These are valid questions.”
Based on reporting by Grace Sosa of Hardin-Simmons University.