Christians: Dialogue With Skeptics Part 2

Tiempo de lectura: 8 min

“Prove Your God Exists!”

Last week, in Part 1 of this topic, we talked about the importance of our having the right attitude when interacting with skeptics. We reminded you to let go of the “fight” mentality when challenged on your beliefs; to instead view these encounters as God-ordained opportunities to demonstrate the truth and love of Christ.

We also talked about the need to identify whether a skeptic is genuinely interested in having a productive conversation with us, or if their intent is to simply derail our faith. (There’s no point, in my mind, for entertaining the latter. Would you try to sell a car to a person who was committed to buying a bike?) Lastly, we talked about the important of asking questions, to help identify why the skeptic holds his views. Is their beef really with God, or people?

In this post, let’s identify some of the questions skeptics tend to ask, because we really need to have thoughtful answers ready when they are posed to us. Then we’ll observe two conversations between a Christian and a skeptic. Role-playing is a great way to prepare for real conversations.

talking with skeptics

Common Objections You Should Learn to Answer

So what are some of the common objections raised by skeptics? Natasha Crain does a great job of identifying a good number of them in her blog post titled 65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer.

A sample:

~What key arguments are there for (and against) God’s existence?

~Why would a good God allow evil to exist?

~How can a loving God send people to hell?

~How can Christians say Jesus is the “only” way?

~Am I good enough to go to heaven?

~Is Christianity a less intelligent worldview than atheism?

~What evidence exists outside the Bible that Jesus existed as a historical person?

~How were the books of the Bible selected?

~Does Science disprove God?

~Is Christianity “responsible” for millions of deaths throughout history?

~Why does Christianity say objective truth is the only “real” truth?

Another good place to research questions and answers is in the books and websites of today’s top Christian apologists. In this blog series we discuss Josh and Sean McDowell’s revised apologetics classic, Evidence That Demands a Verdict. But you also can learn from J. Warner Wallace, Frank Turek, Gary Habermas, and Natasha Crain.

As you research and become practiced with answering these questions, don’t make it your goal to “win” against skeptics. Rather, make it your goal to help them understand why your belief in Christ isn’t based on mindless “blind faith,” but substantial, historical evidence. Always strive to be kind, open, and gracious as you argue chat with skeptics.


Three Must-Dos To Prepare for Skeptics

1: Develop the habit of critical thinking. This goes way beyond knowing Bible stories and memorizing Bible verses.

We need to know why we believe what we believe. We need to be able to make connections between things Jesus taught and how they’re still applicable for our modern lives. We need to be able to explain why a particular scientific theory doesn’t hold up, and why it might not really be all that important whether He created the universe in six days or 6 million years. We need to know what archeologists have proven historically about the Bible.

2: Remember that not every claim or fact uttered by a skeptic is true, particularly when it comes to the historicity of the Bible, or a scientific “fact.” 

We have the right to be just as skeptical as the skeptic, and to ask for objective proof. A common argument used by skeptics is that Christianity “borrowed” its theology from other religions. But when we research that claim, we see that the facts show that it’s the other way around.

Too, it’s NOT on us to prove God’s existence, and here’s why: no skeptic or atheist has yet been able to disprove God’s existence. So when atheist Richard Dawkins writes, “If you want to believe in…unicorns, or tooth fairies, Thor or Yahweh, the onus is on you to say why you believe in it. The onus is not on the rest of us to say why we do not,” his argument doesn’t hold up.

And when we read books by atheists and skeptics, we have to expect bias. The content in Richard Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion, for example, might sound convincing — until we also read books that dismantle his case against God. I love watching debates, because I get to see both sides of an argument. Here’s just one debate I found interesting: William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens – Does God Exist?.

We have to learn to recognize whether the skeptic challenging us is coming with an open mind, or is simply seeking to waste our time. I am happy to talk about God with people who truly want to have an authentic conversation. But if a committed atheist wants to chat for her entertainment or agenda, I’ll pass.

3: Commit to having a humble attitude when dialoguing with skeptics.

Even if we’re mocked, even if we’re told we’re stupid, we get to choose how we respond. Christ left His ego behind, and asks us to do the same. Witnessing isn’t about winning. It’s about showcasing Christ. Truly, if we’re not evidencing the nature of Christ in our lives, what’s the point of even trying to share out faith with people?


Role-Play to Practice

Let’s look at two sample conversations between a skeptic and a Christian, to see how the Christian does at being respectful, and having knowledgeable answers.

Conversation 1:

SKEPTIC: “How can you Christians believe the Bible to be true? All you have to go on is faith.”
CHRISTIAN: “Faith is a good thing.”
SKEPTIC: “Have faith in Science, then! It’s real, unlike your Bible.”
CHRISTIAN: “The Bible is God’s Word. It’s totally real.”
SKEPTIC: “The Bible was written by 40 people, over 1,000 years. No way is it a sacred text!”
CHRISTIAN: “You made that up.”
SKEPTIC: “Have you even read the Bible?”
CHRISTIAN: “Of course!”
SKEPTIC: “All of it?”
CHRISTIAN: “I’ve read the most important part: John’s Gospel, where Jesus beats death and rises!”
SKEPTIC: “Resurrection. Now there’s a fairytale for you.”
CHRISTIAN: “You clearly lack the faith needed to be a Christian.”
SKEPTIC: “I don’t need faith to believe in a fairytale. Unless you have proof that God exists?”
CHRISTIAN: “The proof will be when you burn in Hell!”

How do you rate the Christian? Give 1 star for low, 5 stars for high.

Conversation 2:

SKEPTIC: “How can you Christians believe the Bible to be true? All you have to go on is faith.”
CHRISTIAN: “Faith is a good thing.”
SKEPTIC: “Have faith in Science, dude. It’s real, unlike your Bible.”
CHRISTIAN: “Why don’t you think the Bible is real?”
SKEPTIC: “Because Science has proven the Big Bang Theory. Your Bible says God made the world.”
CHRISTIAN: “Who’s to say He isn’t the bang behind that Big Bang?”
SKEPTIC: “Are you that clueless? The universe isn’t due to some mythical, supernatural creator!”
CHRISTIAN: “Well, would you agree that Science has no clue or proof as to what started the universe?”
SKEPTIC: “It certainly wasn’t the God of your made-up Bible.”
CHRISTIAN: “There’s actually a lot of historical evidence that authenticates the Bible.”
SKEPTIC: “The Bible was written by, like, 40 people, over 1000+ years. No way is it authentic!”
CHRISTIAN: “You’re right about those numbers. But can I show you some of that historical evidence?”
SKEPTIC: “Only if you buy me an espresso. I’m going to need major caffeine to endure that torture.”
CHRISTIAN: “A double espresso for you! HA! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share more.”

How do you rate the Christian? Give 1 star for low, 5 stars for high.


But I Don’t Wanna Talk to Skeptics

God asks us to know why we believe in Him, and to be ready to share our faith. He puts people in our path who need to hear about Him! 

It’s helpful to create a little apologetics notebook that you can to refer to. Or create a computer document of links, that you can easily add to and keep updated. Having these resources will give you confidence, so that you enjoy telling people about the historical facts of Christianity. Share your love for Jesus!

 

Evidence book cover Apologists

This blog post highlights Josh and Sean McDowell’s recently revised apologetics classic, Evidence That Demands a Verdict. We are certain this fully updated and expanded resource will be an effective evangelism tool for you, and strengthen your faith by answering the toughest questions tossed to you by skeptics. Know what you know, because it’s true. But share this truth with LOVE!

If you’d like to start from the first blog post in this series, click here: Apologetics: Apologizing for Believing in God?.

 

Propaga el amor de Dios