These questions were asked by Sean McDowell, PhD, Biola, in a friendly group setting with some skeptics recently:

Sean McDowell, PhD

Sean McDowell, PhD

1) SEAN: WHAT BAD IMPRESSIONS DO CHRISTIANS LEAVE?
  • “Hypocrisy. Christians often focus on particular sins such as homosexuality while they are committing other egregious sins in their own lives.”
  • “Christians don’t take their religion seriously. Why don’t they read, study, and follow the Bible if they really believe it is a word from the almighty God?”
  • “Christians often criticize me for not having good reasons for what I believe, but when pressed, they can’t provide evidence for their beliefs either. They should at least be consistent and admit this.”

2) SEAN: WHAT BLIND SPOTS DO CHRISTIANS HAVE?

  • “Christians are often rational in all areas of their lives but they leave their brain stems at the door when they enter the church.”
  • “Christians notice the faults in others but not in themselves.”
  • “Christians often discourage questions once they have the truth. In fact, knowing truth tends to silence further inquiry.”

3) SEAN: HOW CAN CHRISTIANS IMPROVE THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH ATHEISTS?

  • “Listen”
  • “Have a more open dialogue.”
  • “Stop looking at atheists as if they are wearing a scarlet letter.”
  • “Don’t associate beliefs with the person. I criticize Christianity, and Christians often get defensive.”
  • “Stop making slanderous remarks about non-Christians. I grew up in church and heard more cheap shots made at atheists than any other group. Calvary Chapel is the worst.”

4) SEAN: WHAT EVIDENCE FOR GOD WOULD BE COMPELLING TO ATHEISTS?

  • “If the word of God appeared in Hebrew in 200 mile letters in space I might be convinced. I would still need to investigate it.”
  • “If Christians could actually provide an argument for the existence of God that was not either wrong factually, mistaken logically, or based upon emotional manipulation.”
  • “If God would eliminate suffering.”

If we want to reach out to skeptics, we all should be willing to respectfully engage in the hard questions, and hopefully, in that process, the skeptic might see that truth is knowable, and Jesus Christ is it. But first, we better have reasoned responses to some of these issues raised by skeptics. More reason to know why we believe what we believe!

(Questions and answers used by permission. Check out Sean’s site: http://www.seanmcdowell.org.)