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This is a very common objection you will hear from Jehovah’s Witnesses when they come to your door. They will cite a verse like John 14:28, where Jesus says, “You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”
The famous atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would say to God if he found himself standing before Him after his death. Russell replied, “I probably would ask, ‘Sir, why did you not give me better evidence?’” For Russell, it all came down to the evidence. The implication here is that given enough evidence, Russell would have believed. But is it really that simple? Does belief in God merely depend on evidence?
Quite often after I have given one of my talks, a few people in attendance will push through the crowd so they can talk to me one-on-one. My time at a recent conference was no exception. At this event I had a mother approach me with a concerned look in her eyes and a hint of frustration in her voice. She said, “I agree with everything you just said, but I have an unsaved son and he will not listen to me. I’ve given him good arguments for Christianity, but he refuses to believe. Where do I go from here?”
There are two basic rules of engagement that must be remembered when discussing your spiritual and moral convictions. Here are the rules: Rule #1: If you get angry, you lose. Rule #2: If they get angry, you lose.
Thanks to you, a gifted new speaker joins our team June 1, 2015 When I attended our annual reTHINK youth conference in Southern California last fall, I had a special guest by my side—my nine-year-old daughter, Annabeth. I thought she might be too young for the material, but she was thrilled.
Most of the basic arguments for the existence of God, though they can be detailed in sophisticated ways, are easy to understand on a fundamental level. Three arguments are:
In today’s culture, people take “faith” and “belief” as religious wishful thinking, not the kind of intelligent step of trust the Bible has in mind when it uses those words. In the past, I’ve encouraged you to ban words like “faith” and “belief” from your vocabulary. They’re too easily misunderstood. I had a chance to put that advice into practice in one of my own “moments of truth”—for a national TV audience.
When you are faced with the question, here’s how you should respond. While you’re on the lookout for your moments of truth this year—those brief windows of opportunity God gives you to sow a seed for the Kingdom—inevitably you will be asked the question. It’s one of the most important questions anyone can ask you. It’s also one of the easiest to answer—it can be done in one word—yet at the same time it’s one of the hardest. A simple “yes” is wildly misleading.
Pay attention. Listen carefully. Think about the ramifications of statements others make in unguarded moments when they’re not defending turf. Sometimes when a person disagrees with you on a critical concern—abortion, for instance—he will give your view a leg up without realizing it when talking about something else. If you stay alert, you might be able to leverage his point in support of our own.
You can answer the harshest critic you’ll ever face. October 1, 2014 Let me tell you why every church needs to care about apologetics—about defending the faith—other than that Scripture commands it, Jesus and the apostles practiced it, and it works. (I’ll set those points aside for now.)