If there is one issue that I would encourage you to get to grips with, if there is one apologetic question worth pouring your time into, I’m going to suggest it is the reliability of the Bible.
There are really two aspects to this question. First, can I trust the Bible? In other words, is what we have today an accurate version of what the early Christians said. Second, why should I trust the Bible? That is, assuming we have an accurate version of what the Apostles and early Christians believed, what ground have we got for believing they were telling the truth. If you get to grips with only one apologetic question, make it this one.
The reason why I think this is simple. Essentially, every other apologetic question flows from this. Take the resurrection, for example. Why should I believe that happened? Ultimately, if the Bible is accurate and there is good reason to believe the Apostles were telling the truth, we can believe it because the Bible says so. How do we know anything about who God is and how he acts in the world? Ultimately, we know these things through the Bible. If the Bible is true and accurate, then those things we think about God must also be true and accurate.
Almost any apologetic question you might think of comes down to this one. We believe the Bible because we think it is true and accurate. If the Bible isn’t reliable, then most – if not all – of what we believe is likely to to be unreliable too. Most issues boil down to this one: is the Bible reliable and can I trust what it says?
Answer that one and there aren’t really many objections left. If it is true, then what it says is true. If it is not true, then what it says can largely be ignored. Coupled to it, the evidence for the resurrection (which is really a subset of the same question) is key. If we can believe the Bible, then we can believe that the resurrection really happened. If we believe the resurrection really happened, a number of other things logically follow. The other claims of the Bible must equally be true.
There are many apologetic questions you might feel require an answer. Many of them are perfectly valid questions to ask and knowing answers to them is very helpful. But the one that stands over them all is this: can I trust the Bible? Answer that and we can show – simply by reference to it – that everything it says must be true and has ramifications for all of us.
To that end, here are some things that you might want to bring to boot on the discussion: