A letter....

...from a Christian, troubled by the skeptical websites


Dear Glenn,

I have been accessing your site for some time now, and unfortunately I have been particularly drawn to the atheist and skeptical pages. I use the word unfortunately because it has caused me seriously question my faith, the bible, and even the existence of God himself. I found the ZZZ pages particularly compelling and disturbing. To say it has shaken up my faith would be a major understatement. I prayed that God would strengthen me before I started reading the material and I also read the spiritual read me first page you have so graciously provided. Unfortunately I was not prepared for such strong and overpowering arguments. I have been a serious Christian for over four years and I thought I was totally prepared. I have a few books on apologetics and a few commentaries, and my pastor is extremely faithful to the word of God. Even with that kind of good bible teaching I am still at a loss on how to deal with all this. Any suggestions would be helpful
.......................................................................
dear, dear YYY...

I can only make a few remarks; its very late here...

  1. First of all, recognize that you are supposed to be troubled by those arguments--its a sign of honesty and a sign that God is growing a commitment to truth in your heart! In itself, it is an 'evidence' of God's progress in your life...

  2. Recognize that this represents an opportunity for you to trust God...believe me, many (if not most) of their questions and arguments were raised in the 1st three centuries of the faith, and they have all been replied to by brilliant saints throughout the ages...trust your Father to meet your need--but give Him the benefit of the doubt...

  3. Recognize I Cor 10.13--these issues have bothered many others like you, throughout history, and God is able to get your through them...

  4. Recognize them as a challenge--if they were easy, then you wouldn't grow from them!

  5. Think of the questions He has undoubtedly already answered for you--however small they seem now, they were "big" once...He has a track record with you already...why change your estimate of His power?!

  6. Relax in His promise to meet your needs--even this one...One professor said "Some students try to hold the Rock up, instead of letting the Rock hold them up"!

  7. Recognize that you will get your answers little-by-little...your loving Father has many, many things He would like to do in your life, and questions are only part of it...

  8. Go ahead in faith and THANK HIM AHEAD OF TIME for the answers He will provide you over the rest of your life! (I have seen Him answer questions this past year that have bothered me for decades--and only when I remembered how GOOD and KIND He was, and remembered how He wants me to confidently "charge" into some of these issues, did I experience His guidance into solutions)...

  9. Relax, relax, relax--men smarter than us had devoted lives to studying these issues, and most of them have already been written up somewhere...you just need to read more to find the really 'good' stuff...

  10. Finally, realize that God is VERY interested in you growing in knowledge and truth...He will guide you like he already has...

  11. The only other thing to remember is that you will ALWAYS face challenges to your faith--some intellectual, some moral, etc.--so expect this kinda stuff--

Just recognize that these will come, and simply resolve to 'calm down', trust Him, and plow ahead in loving/serving others...and He will dish out the blessing of answers...

The only other piece of practical advice, if you are going to read that stuff, is to PRAY for the authors--that God would give THEM answers too, answers that would cause them to see the love and kindness and truth of the Risen Jesus...

Also, (randomly, obviously)...if the objections are purely philosophical type objections, take them with a grain of salt...the historical realities of the resurrection and fulfilled prophecy are 'hard data' as opposed to the machinations and speculations of the human brain...

and recognize that whatever you learn in this experience, you will be called on to share it in a few years or decades with another 'YYY'...God comforts us, so that we may comfort others...2 Cor 1...

warmly,
glenn


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