When I entered college, I did so as a science major: pre-med biomedical chemistry, to be exact. I still really enjoy all of the medical sciences: biology, microbiology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and the like.
As you might be aware many of the scientists today have a bent toward the theory of evolution. That means that a few of my professors and several of the authors I was reading taught and wrote from that paradigm.
This set up the environment for me to want to debate for my Creationist beliefs.
I had one professor who would specifically challenge me during lectures to refute what he had just said about evolution. An author who wrote a lengthy book about evolution carried on a year-long correspondence with me where we each brought out our best arguments. In all instances—although we believed passionately in our positions and could adequately defend them—the discussions never became shouting matches.
The Bible taught me how to do this.
At times I was tempted to “cross the line” to win the argument. And I may have won the argument, but I would have put myself in a position to lose the overall battle. There are two key passages of Scripture that I keep in mind to help me with this.
(1) In telling His followers about the Holy Spirit (John 14-16), Jesus said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). And also, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).
The Holy Spirit helps me apply biblical truths and principles to my everyday life. He guides me and reminds me of what I have studied.
(2) The second key passage is, “But in your hearts set apart 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 Peter 3:15-16).
Yes, it is important for me to be prepared to give an answer, but this is the middle thought. First, I have to make sure what I’m saying is exalting Christ as Lord. Then I do my best to study and prepare to give an answer, but I must give that answer gently and respectfully.
Allowing the Holy Spirit to help you prepare from the Bible, and allowing Him to guide you into answering questions/critics gently and respectfully honors Christ. And that always wins the battle.