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54 Questions for the Not-Yet-a-Believer, Part 2 of a two-part series
by Daryl E. Witmer, AIIA Executive Director
In order to be fair in the debate about matters of faith, it’s not just the Christian who must be called to the witness stand. Even those who dispute or who otherwise persist in voicing skepticism about Christianity have some questions to answer. In fact, considering the evidence, it no doubt requires more faith to stand outside the circle of those who believe than to join it. To ensure integrity, therefore, on the part of even our readers who are not yet believers, here are a few issues about which you too should be able to give an account.
How do you explain the high degree of design and order in the universe? How could any mere human pinpoint the birth town of the Messiah seven full centuries before the fact, as did the prophet Micah? If Jesus did not actually rise from the dead, how could He (in His condition) have circumvented all of the security measures in place at His tomb? How can one realistically discount the testimony of over 500 witnesses to a living Jesus following His crucifixion (see I Corinthians 15:6)? Why isn’t it absurd to try to speak or even conceive of a non-existent ‘God’ when an existing God would, by definition, be greater? Have you ever considered the fact that Christianity is the only religion whose leader is said to have risen from the dead? If the authorities stole Jesus’ body, why?, i.e. why would they have perpetrated the very scenario that they most wanted to prevent? If Jesus merely resuscitated in the tomb, how did He deal with the Roman guard posted just outside its entrance? If God is unchanging, wouldn’t it be true that one who changes by suddenly “realizing” that he/she is ‘God’ therefore isn’t God? If all of Jesus’ claims to be God were the result of His own self-delusion, why didn’t He evidence lunacy in any other areas of His life? Is your unbelief in a perfect God possibly the result of a bad experience with an imperfect Church, and therefore an unfair rejection of God Himself? Isn’t it some what arrogant to suggest that countless churches and men (including men like Abraham Lincoln) are all erroneous in their view of the Bible? How did 35-40 men, spanning 1500 years and living on three separate continents, ever manage to author one unified message, i.e. the Bible? Because life origins are not observable, verifiable, or falsifiable, how does historical ‘science’ amount to anything more than just another faith system? If man is nothing but the random arrangement of molecules, what motivates you to care and to live honorably in the world? What do you make of all the anthropological studies indicating that even the most remote tribes show some sort of theological awareness? What do you say about the hundreds of scholarly books that carefully document the veracity and reliability of the Bible? Why and how has the Bible survived and even flourished in spite of centuries of worldwide attempts to destroy and ban its message? Explain David’s graphic portrayed of Jesus’ death by crucifixion (Psalm 22) 1000 years previous to crucifixion being established as a form of capital punishment? Have you ever wondered why thousands of intelligent scientists, living and dead, have been men and women of great faith? Would you charge the U. S. Constitution with error in affirming that “all men are endowed by their Creator…”? Why subscribe to the incredible odds that the tilt and position of our planet relative to the sun are merely coincidental? What would be required to persuade you to become a believer?
A college student attended a philosophy class which held a discussion about God’s existence. The professor presented the following logic: “Has anyone in this class ever heard God?” No one spoke. “Has anyone in this class ever touched God?” Again, no one spoke. “Has anyone in this class ever seen God?” When no one spoke for the third time, he said, “Then there is no God.” One student thought for a second and then asked for permission to reply. Curious to hear this bold student’s response, the professor agreed. The student stood up and asked the following: “Has anyone in this class ever heard our professor’s brain?” Silence. “Has anyone in this class ever touched our professor’s brain?” Absolute silence. “Has anyone in this class ever seen our professor’s brain?” When no one in the class dared to speak, the student concluded, “Then, according to our professor’s logic, it must be true that our professor has no brain!” The student received an ‘A’ in the class.