An Atheist in a Foxhole


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Every Christian should be an Apologist. An Apologist is not someone who apolgizes for being a Christian, but someone who engages in apologetics–defending the faith. One does not have to be a pastor, have advanced degrees, or even be especially intelligent to learn Christian apologetics. Every Christian is commanded to defend the faith:

1 Peter 3:15 ESV (emphasis mine)

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect

You never know when and where you’ll need to defend your faith. It’s often said, “There’s no such a thing as an atheist in a foxhole.” I know that is not true because as a Marine deployed to Iraq in 2003, I was in a foxhole with an atheist (although to be perfectly accurate, in the Marine Corps we always called them “fighting holes,” never “fox holes”). He told me in no uncertain terms that he had no reason to believe in God, but at the time I was unprepared to defend the faith. I told him I believed, but I did not know of any compelling reason to give him for believing. It would have been an opportune time to persuade him that the gospel was true because he could have died at any point in the midst of combat. Luckily, he did not. I do not know where he is now, or what he is doing, but I pray someone was able to reach him with the Truth.