Chad Gross of Williamsport is the man behind Maryland’s foremost Apologetic ministry: Truthbomb Apologetics. This Examiner recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Gross and discuss Truthbomb.
Chad Gross always felt as if life had some purpose, but he didn’t know what that purpose might be. Said Chad: “I would have said that we were here for some reason. I wouldn’t have described myself as an Atheist or an Agnostic. I’d say I practically lived as an Atheist. But I would have described myself as probably, you know, I believe in God, almost like a Deistic God. A God who started everything up, and he put us here, but he doesn’t have any bearing on our life because that would mean that I would have to be accountable to him.
“I was in a pretty bad situation personally and started asking questions about ‘Why am I here?’, ‘What’s this all mean?’, ‘Is this all there is?’
“A friend of mine who had invited me to church many times, and I always referred to him as ‘Church Boy.’ He would be coming my way, and I would say ‘Here comes the church guy.’ And he would come up to me and ask me to go to church, and I would say, ‘Oh, sure, I’ll go!’ Never with any intention of actually going. When I was about 25, I started struggling personally with just life and those questions of ‘Is this all there is.’
“I happened to run into him at a teaching conference, and he asks “Hey, want to go to church?” same way he always asked me, and I was like “You know what? Yeah!” And I called him up because at that point I figured, what do I have to lose?
“So I went and heard a pastor preaching on Christ, and was impressed with what I heard. I had never heard the gospel explained, and this pastor talked about Jesus as if he was someone he knew, which was intriguing to me. I wasn’t sold on it, but he also encouraged intellectual inquiry. He would say ‘There’s answers to your questions. Check into the Bible. Check into who Jesus is.’ So one morning at church, they have the alter call, and I went forward not really comprehending what I was doing, just knowing that I needed something. Then through my investigation of the evidence, mainly the historical evidence of Jesus and the resurrection, I became convinced that he was who he said he was, and then that’s when I was able to step over the line and say, ‘Okay, I believe Jesus is exactly who he said he was, and worth living my life for.’”
To Chad Gross, investigation of the evidence for Christianity is something very important not just to ministry, but to faith.
“It seemed to me that if you were making claims like ‘Someone rose from the dead,’ ‘There’s a God that exists,’ ‘There’s a book that God inspired people to write that accurately records God’s wishes for your life, and accurately records history,’ you would want to know that that was true, or have some good reasons to believe it. So I wasn’t able to fully commit to it until I was convinced that this was truth, that this was the best explanation of the reality that we find ourselves in.
“I Peter 3:15 talks about always being ready to give a defense for those who have a question for the hope that lies within you. And I go to the example of Jesus, and I go to the example of Paul especially. Paul went into the synagogues’ and he reasoned with the Jews. He went into Athens and he reasoned with and contended with, and persuaded the philosophers. So not only is it spoken about in the Bible, but it’s also modeled in the Bible.
“We’ve gotten this idea, and it’s a false one, it’s not a Biblical one, that for some people it’s experiential evidence, and for other people it’s that tangible evidence, or historical evidence, or scientific evidence. Biblically, it’s a both/and. Biblically we are encouraged to love God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind. It’s the common phrase that ‘God doesn’t ask us to throw our brains out.’ The Bible as a whole, and the Christian worldview encourages intellectual inquiry. I think of verses like in First Thessalonians 5:21 where it says: ‘Test all things, hold to what is good.’
“We’re encouraged to investigate what we believe and to know why we believe it. Also, again, it’s modeled by the Apostle Paul and by Christ himself. That’s one of the things I appreciate about philosophers like Dallas Willard and J.P. Moreland. They’ve re-invigorated this movement of seeing Jesus as intellectual. Because we so much in the church see him as Mr. Rogers with a beard. You know, he has the little sheep up on his shoulder. And he is those things too. He’s loving, and compassionate and forgiving, but he was also very sharp intellectually. Those conversations in the gospels with the Sadducees and the Pharisees; he left them saying things like ‘And no one asked him questions from that day forward,’ or, ‘And they were astonished by his teachings.’
“We’re to follow Christ, and so we should strive to be able to answer questions like Jesus did. Paul said ‘imitate me because I imitate Christ.’
“If truth is rightly understood, and especially the truth of Christianity, it should drop a bomb in your life. It should radically shift the way you view the world, the way you view others, and the way you live.”