“Be prepared” is the Boy Scout motto, and it applies to followers of Jesus as well. We need not hold advanced degrees in theology or be skilled apologists, but we do need to be prepared to explain what we believe and why we believe it.
Consider how you would answer if coworkers posed the following questions:
“Christians say God is all-powerful and all-good. If that’s so, why doesn’t He stop terrorist attacks and sex trafficking and all the suffering in the world?”
“Christians are so condemning and intolerant. I know a lot of people who aren’t religious at all, and they seem to be more kind and even more ethical than many Christians. What’s up with that?”
“From what I understand, the Bible and the church dictate what Christians should believe and do. I think people should be free to choose how they want to live and be who they want to be. How can you live a truly authentic life otherwise?”
Objections such as these are common. Being prepared with a brief answer not only helps people see the truth, it shows that we have thought about our faith and not just blindly believed something because of how we were raised.
Behind many objections to the Christian faith are widely accepted assumptions that generate uncertainty and predispose people to think Christianity could not be true. These assumptions, which many in our culture consider commonsense fact, are, in reality, an alternative belief system. Philosophers call them defeater beliefs—opinions about something that make it impossible to believe something else.
In The Reason for God (Dutton), Tim Keller examines seven common objections to Christianity and identifies the alternative belief system that underlies them. These objections include:
- There cannot be just one true religion.
- A good God would not allow evil and suffering.
- Christianity is a straitjacket.
- The church is responsible for so much injustice.
- A loving God would not send people to hell.
- Science has disproved Christianity.
- The Bible cannot be taken literally.
Keller suggests that in every doubt, faith (in something) is hidden in the reasoning. He offers ways we can help people rethink their opinions and graciously remind them that they are betting their life on something they cannot prove.
Other good books and websites that provide help to answer tough questions and objections:
- I’m Glad You Asked by Ken Boa and Larry Moody (David C. Cook
- The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel (Zondervan).
- Reasons to Believe (Reasons.org)
- Probe Ministries (Probe.org)
- The Denison Forum on Truth and Culture (DenisonForum.org)
Our Strongest Resource
Jesus promised His supernatural resources to all who join Him in helping to fulfill the Great Commission. He told His disciples,
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matt. 28:18-20)
We are assured of this power and presence today when we join God in drawing people into a relationship with Him.