Answers to hard questions

The Bible says that Christians should always be ready to give a reason for their faith and hope (I Peter 3:15). So it’s important that we think about the hard questions that our friends ask about Christianity and are ready with some intellectually-respectable answers. Here’s an interesting resource from “A Passion for Life” that attempts to answer some of those questions.

This particular clip is Don Carson’s answer to the painful question about hell, but there are many other critical questions that are addressed. The answer which Don gives to the question about God’s existence is also very good. I think that these direct, clear, cogent and winsome answers are helpful and instructive not only for those who are asking the questions, but also for those who are trying in everyday conversation to answer them. My children tell me that these are questions which their contemporaries ask and discuss.

One suggestion that has been made to address the decline of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland is that we re-institute the biblical office of evangelist, and train people to fulfill this role. If we were to do this, then clearly we would expect such evangelists to be skilled in addressing and answering these kinds of questions. But if every Christian is called to offer a defence for their hope, then maybe these key questions should be addressed from the pulpit more regularly. An informed and well-taught membership is critical for the health, vitality and mission of every church.

6 Replies to “Answers to hard questions”

  1. The decline of PCI.
    When we read of the decline of the church in the OT, we see a turning away from God’s way. When the leaders embraced other gods, the true God withdrew from them and not until they repented of their sin and returned to Him did He bless them again.
    What sin(s) has PCI committed that God has withdrawn from us?
    Does God want congregations to spend millions of pounds on bricks and mortar when thousands are going to hell who have never heard the Gospel once?, and so we have the Presbyterian Mutual collapse.
    What sort of career ministers, who do not have the calling of God, are being turned out of Union college on huge salaries when their congregations are made up of pensioners, unemployed, one parent families and students with massive loans?, and so we have another fire in Union college.
    What God blesses is the faithful preaching of His Word and when this happens the buildings will not be able to contain the crowds.

    The silence is deafening of PCI’s condemnation of RC child abuse by priests and bishops and the pope’s cover up.

  2. i think there is a risk of every church covering up things which are at very least inappropriate and at worst criminial – could that be the reason for the silence -also it was not just the pope who covered up but the irish government in deffernce to the catholic church covered up as well none of us people or church is perfect and so we are all in the need of god’s atounding grace so should we imperfect as we are shout about others who are also imperfect

  3. One of the interesting parts of this original post is the need for training – how many congregations get any training. Sound teaching yes but training?

    THe church will need to move out into new areas of work, counselling, community action, work with single parents, work with disenfranchised communities and some churches are already doing this – but what training are the volunteers getting – the well intentioned amateur?

    As for silence, like when the women was caugt in adultery “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” What might be better is for the PCI to highlight its child protection programmes, make sure all its ministers, youth leaders, etc, etc are up to speed with current policies and make sure that standards are maintained at all levels within the church. No exceptions, no special understandings, no compromises

  4. Watched the Don Carson clip you mentioned, what sanctimonious dribble, clearly not sure himself! It is crystal clear, with no doubt, that there is no god. Lying to children, that’s what characterizes the church for me. Get over your imaginary friend and grow up!

  5. Selfish Gene, hi, welcome.

    You write, “It is crystal clear, with no doubt, that there is no god.”

    While I can understand why you might react negatively to Don Carson’s comments, your statement raises for me more questions than it answers; you see I’m wondering how you have proved that, or, for that matter, how you might establish your own existence, or mine. My trouble is that when my doubt raises it head, I don’t just doubt God, and consistent doubt is a scary thing!

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