“I’ll start sharing my faith as soon as I learn how to defend it and answer questions.”
That’s a common thought these days amongst Christians. Sounds responsible, but it’s misguided.
First, the person who says this cuts off a main thoroughfare to learn how to defend the faith: conversing with others about Christianity. Think about it: you don’t get good at something without actually doing that activity itself. You hear an objection, and you go back to study and find an answer for it. Then you are ready the next time. The more that happens, the more you learn.
I heard philosopher William Lane Craig remark one time that one of the first things the original Marxists would do to new converts is send them out on the street corner to hand out Marxist literature. They did that knowing full well the poor fella would be annihilated in discussion by pedestrians, and this would fuel his study of Marxism.
The same concept applies here. The two things–talking to others about Christ and learning how to defend Christianity–come in tandem.
Plus, there’s no shame at all in saying, “I don’t know. Let me do some looking into it and I’ll get back to you next week.” Seriously, Bible friend, what do you have to lose?
Secondly, what standard would this person use? How would he know when he’s reached a satisfactory level? It is too easy to either not set the bar at all, and thus always be “learning” but never engaging others, or to set the bar so high that it’s unreachable…or at least unreachable for an extended period of time.
Thirdly, though not in every case, in many cases this is just thinly veiled cowardice. The person really isn’t interested in sharing the gospel, so he concocts a swell-sounding excuse. It’s always some form of “I’ll do that later, as soon as I…X,” but the person never intends to actually commit time and energy to X.