Apologetics and Testimony

What role should personal testimonies play in apologetics? I know this is a controversial topic among apologists. For many, testimonies are too subjective and they would rather the emphasis be on more logical evidences for the truth of Christianity.

While I acknowledge the shortcomings of personal testimonies, I can’t help but notice that Paul is described in Acts as sharing his testimony twice. Not only does he share his conversion story, in his letters he often talks about how God is working in the midst of his suffering. Paul seemed to believe that the argument from experience had an important role.

In what way should the argument from experience be used? One of the common ways is that of sharing your conversion experience. It does not have to be a dramatic conversion with sex and drugs. It can be a quiet conversion where the faith moves from that of the parents to that of the person. It can also be ways that God acts in the life of the Christian, including answers to prayer and other spiritual experiences. I have often seen non-Christians moved more by how God is working in my life than the logical arguments that I present.

I am not saying that we should rely only on the argument from experience. It has its limitations. But it is an important part of the puzzle. When it is paired with other evidences for the truth of Christianity, it can have a powerful effect.

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