7 Questions Skeptics Ask
How to answer the tough questions.
Based on an article by Rusty Wright, Christianity Today
On this podcast I asked Jonathan how he would answer the top 7 questions people outside the faith ask about Christianity. Here are the questions and some info from the article. To view the full article click below
Why is there evil and suffering?
Sigmund Freud called religion an illusion humans invent to satisfy their security needs. To him, a benevolent, all-powerful God seemed incongruent with natural disasters and human evil.
What about all the contradictions in the Bible?
Ask your questioner for specific examples. Often people have none, but rely on hearsay. If there is a specific example, consider these guidelines as you respond.
Omission does not necessarily create contradiction. Luke, for example, writes of two angels at Jesus’ tomb after the Resurrection (24:1-9). Matthew mentions “an angel” (28:1-8). Is this a contradiction? If Matthew stated that only one angel was present, the accounts would be dissonant. As it stands, they can be harmonized.
Differing accounts aren’t necessarily contradictory. Matthew and Luke, for example, differ in their accounts of Jesus’ birth. Luke records Joseph and Mary starting in Nazareth, traveling to Bethlehem (Jesus’ birthplace), and returning to Nazareth (Luke 1:26-2:40). Matthew starts with Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, relates the family’s journey to Egypt to escape King Herod’s rage, and recounts their travel to Nazareth after Herod’s death (Matt. 1:18-2:23). The Gospels never claim to be exhaustive records. Biographers must be selective. The accounts seem complementary, not contradictory.
What about those who never hear of Jesus?
God’s perfect love and justice far exceed our own. Whatever He decides will be loving and fair. A friend once told me that many asking this question seek a personal loophole, a way so they won’t need to believe in Christ. C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity wrote, “If you are worried about the people outside [of Christianity], the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself.” If Christianity is true, the most logical behavior for someone concerned about those without Christ’s message would be to trust Christ and go tell them about Him.
How can Jesus be the only way to God?
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
Isn’t Christianity just a psychological crutch?
Bob Prall has often said, “If Christianity is a psychological crutch, then Jesus Christ came because there was an epidemic of broken legs.” Christianity claims to meet real human needs such as those for forgiveness, love, identity, and self-acceptance. We might describe Jesus not as a crutch but an iron lung, essential for life itself.
I could never take the blind leap of faith that believing in Christ requires.
We exercise faith every day. Few of us understand everything about electricity or aerodynamics, but we have evidence of their validity. Whenever we use electric lights or airplanes, we exercise faith—not blind faith, but faith based on evidence. Christians act similarly. The evidence for Jesus is compelling, so one can trust him on that basis.
It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere.
After discussing this, a respected psychologist told me, “I guess a person could be sincere in what he believed, but be sincerely wrong.” In the 1960s, many women took the drug thalidomide sincerely believing it would ease their pregnancies—never suspecting it could cause severe birth defects.