This book is aptly titled—Why I Believe. I am not an expert apologist and I do not have PhDs in multiple areas of research like some of our best Christian apologists. I’m so grateful for them and I’ve carefully studied their work along with those who disagree with them. My aim is to synthesize the best research and thinking in a way that makes it easy to understand and practical to apply.
This book is designed to provide well-researched and practical guidelines for us ordinary people to fully understand the intellectual and historical basis for our faith, and to talk intelligently and confidently with our friends, family, and coworkers over a cup of coffee about why we believe. Layout and design will allow you to grasp the material quickly and the endnotes will allow you to go to other resources for more specific information.
I have spent most of my ministry teaching in parts of the country where people have little or no biblical background but are very intellectually astute. I have learned and become fully convinced that I do not have to throw my brains in the trash to be a fully devoted follower of the historic Jesus, who died to pay for our sins, who rose from the dead, who believed the Scriptures to be the very Word of God, and who promised to come again to execute justice and make all things new.
So I want to invite you to go on a journey with me. I want to share with you what I have learned and answer the question my professor asked all those years ago. I want you to discover firsthand that there is substantial and reasonable evidence for our faith in the Jesus of the Bible. My faith in God and my life as a Christ follower is not belief “in spite of the lack of evidence,” as some have claimed. Quite the contrary, my faith is built on an historical, intellectual, scientific, and philosophical foundation that answers life’s biggest questions and stands up to its harshest critics.
Join me now as we prepare our hearts and minds to respond to the admonition of the Lord Jesus through the apostle Peter:
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Pet. 3:15–16)
Chip Ingram, Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2017).