People have a lot of hard questions for the Christian faith. But why is it that, while there are some that we certainly give it our all to answer, there are others that Christians don’t seem to want to answer?
Why is that?
It’s (hopefully) not that we don’t want to give the answers, but it’s most likely that we don’t have the answers themselves.
That’s where The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask comes in. Author Mark Mittelberg, along with his publisher and the Barna Research group polled one thousand Christians asking them what questions they hoped no one would ask. The results came down to ten questions:
- 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 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?
- Why are Christians so judgmental toward everyone who doesn’t agree with them? [note: questions 8 & 9 are combined in one chapter]
- Why should I think that heaven really exists—and that God sends people to hell?
These are not questions with easy answers, and Mittelberg offers thoughtful responses to each, along with very helpful discussion aids and small group questions.
One of the things I appreciated about the book was the author’s ability to be speak plainly on some very complex subject matter. Particularly when speaking about subjects such as evolution, it can be very easy to get bogged down in language that is foreign to the average person. He also tries to be careful about letting his position on each answer be the only position. Again, using the example of evolution, he doesn’t simply provide one option, but several generally accepted Christian views. While I don’t know if I would agree his inclusion theistic evolution, Mittelberg keeps his eye on accessibility and that’s something that should be commended. [Read more…]