Questions Christians Fear
What are the questions you most fear being asked about your faith? Even as a trained apologist there are many tough questions I hope don’t come up in my discussions with non-believers. Some questions are simply difficult to answer. But we can’t ignore the tough questions. Such an approach is cowardly and counterproductive for the kingdom of God. We must—yes, must—be prepared with an answer for the toughest questions (1 Peter 3:15). We have nothing to fear because the truth is on our side.
I recently had the opportunity to endorse Mark Mittelberg’s upcoming book entitled, “The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask (With Answers).” This book is based upon a survey Mark sponsored with Tyndale Publishers through the Barna Group of one thousand self-proclaimed Christians. They asked each person what faith questions they would feel most uncomfortable being asked by a coworker or friend. Some questions are expected but a few might come as a surprise.
In my opinion, Mark is one of the best “popular” level apologists today. He’s well aware of the scholarly research, but he makes it understandable, relevant, practical, and interesting. He has the same ministry heartbeat as Lee Strobel, his ministry partner and friend for over twenty-three years.
According to the Barna survey here’s the questions Christians hope no one will ask:
- What makes you so sure that God exists at all—especially when you can’t see, hear, or touch him?
- Didn’t evolution put God out of a job? Why rely on religion in an age of science and knowledge?
- Why trust the Bible, a book based on myths and full of contradictions and mistakes?
- Everyone knows that Jesus was a good man and a wise teacher—but why try to make him into the Son of God, too?
- How could a good God allow so much evil, pain, and suffering—or does he simply not care?
- Why is abortion such a line in the sand for Christians? Why can’t I be left alone to make my own choices for my own body?
- Why do you condemn homosexuality when it’s clear that God made gays and that he loves all people the same?
- How can I trust in Christianity when so many Christians are hypocrites-or, even worse, they're judgmental toward everyone who doesn't agree with them?
- Why should I think that heaven really exists—and that God sends people to hell?
The purpose of this post is not to answer these questions but to make you aware of how Christians are thinking. The purpose is also to challenge you to think about these important questions and to do a little soul searching. Sometimes it’s better to ask questions than to answer them. In fact, Jesus asked questions in the gospels, even though he knew the answers.
So, here are some questions for you: Are you prepared to answer these questions? Which one are you most confident to answer? Which one are you the least confident about? Why do you think Christians fear these particular questions? When was the last time you were asked one of these questions? How often are you in discussions with Christians (and more importantly, non-Christians) about these important topics? What does this reveal about you?
I suspect we fear these questions because we don’t want to look bad in front of others. None of us want to get caught off guard. But in reality, what this reveals is how self-focused we really are. Fear is always selfish. Love is always selfless. And that is why 1 John 4:8 says that perfect love casts out fear. When we focus on loving others we can often move beyond our fears. If we really care about our non-believing friends, we will take the time to think through these questions so we can provide a thoughtful answer when they ask.