Street-Level Apologetics


by Joe Coffey

There are two basic ways to discuss your faith with non-Christians. You can testify to what Jesus has done in your own life—how Christ has changed you through the gospel and what being a Christian has meant for you, your family, your church life, etc. That’s the “fruit” side.

The other way is to talk about why Christianity makes sense.

Almost any substantive conversation you might have with unbelievers about Christianity will touch on both topics. And the fact is that we would probably talk a lot more with unbelievers about how we have been changed if we felt we could talk more freely, confidently, and intelligently about why our faith makes sense.

What we need are some basic tools for use in street-level apologetics. After all, faith in Jesus really does make perfect sense, and you don’t need to be a scientist, an historian, an archaeologist, or a philosopher to understand why.

This was the “equipping mission” that pastor and author Joe Coffey took on when he decided to write Smooth Stones: Bringing Down the Giant Questions of Apologetics. He says the book exists for two reasons.

First, too many people think that believing in Christianity means blind faith, against all evidence, the way a child believes in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Second, every few years a new book intended to undermine Christianity becomes a bestseller and shakes the faith of many. Yet the arguments in these books are rarely compelling.

In Smooth Stones, therefore, Joe Coffey gives Christians a simple introduction to the plausibility of Christian faith. He examines six key questions:

  1. Is there a God?
  2. Does science disprove God’s existence?
  3. Is the Bible authentic and true?
  4. Why is there evil and suffering?
  5. Aren’t all religions the same?
  6. Is Jesus for real?

Joe acknowledges that the most important thing is to be able to discuss the “fruit” part of our experience, because that’s where the core of our faith lies. But most of us are especially weak the on the “makes sense” part. Again, why are we weak? Most often, it probably comes down to the fact that we don’t feel equipped to say anything intelligent—so we say nothing, for fear that our bumbling will just make things worse.

Smooth Stones can unmuzzle you to start to speak freely about your faith with confidence and clarity. Click here to read the Introduction and all of Chapter 3: “Is the Bible Reliable and True?”

Smooth Stones; Bringing Down the Giant Questions of Apologetics, by Joe Coffey



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(This article was adapted from one that originally appeared on

5 thoughts on “Street-Level Apologetics

  1. Both approaches are devoid of verifiable evidence about the most basic claim of Christianity: that a god exists.

  2. Thanks for the comment, but if that’s your concern, this is definitely worth a look:

    1. interesting video. so, if someday science could conclusively show to your satisfaction that the fine tuning of the universe was the result of purely natural causes, would that lower the confidence you hold in a god belief?

    2. The amount of inaccuracies in the video are astonishing.
      First, the “parameters” for the search for life are much more flexible than Carl Sagan suposed, if not we would not be looking for life in the moons of other planets in our own solar system, nor we would find life at the bottom of the Ocean, and what we call extremophiles would not exist (this is jsut the name we give them, maybe we are actually the extremophiles)..
      Second, the biggest mistake here. If you look at a puddle what do you say: 1. the earth around the water was exactly developed to make hole where the water fits perfectly; or 2. The water filled the hole to the top making it a puddle.The explanation number 2 should be obvious but the video is constructing on explanation 1 without even thinking about it for a second.
      And third, and not least, if any of the variables of the universe were different we would have a different universe. Since the amount of posible variations are infinite (and for this you have to take into account individual variations of a parameter and a combination of them varying together), to supose that the only combination that can produce a universe where there is life is the one that we live in, is both extremely arrongant and ignorant. The fine-tuning argument has been debunked many years ago, I don’t know how people can still present it as a good argument.

  3. One can argue the philosophical definition of “God”, and try to determine whether the Atheists’ description “primal cause”, is more accurate than the Theists’ description “Creator”. But, neither has any intelligible meaning when removed from the Universe, and therefore no longer contained within cause-and-effect, consciousness-driven spacetime,

    Attempting to shoehorn specific claims from antiquity, into fundamental principles, is a hopeless task. One cannot be a Theist and a philosopher, likewise Theism and spiritual thinking are mutually exclusive. Philosophy and spirituality make no assumptions.

    That spiritual experiences occur is undeniable, That they are evidence of ancient dogma, is ludicrous.

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