Evangelism in a Spiritual Age (ed Stephen Croft Church House Publishing 2005) identified six Big Questions ordinary people want answers to.
- Destiny? what happens after we die?
- Purpose? what is the point of life? What values should I live by? Who inspires us?
- The universe? How did it start? Is it designed or planned or controlled?
- Does God exist? What is he/it like? Can we know or have a relationship with God?
- Spiritual realms? What form do they take? Angels, ghosts. Supernatural?
- Suffering? Why is there so much? What can be done? Concerns about domestic abuse, crime, intolerance and lack of respect.
We will address all these Big Questions during my companion programme Prepared to Answer.
In You Must Be Joking (Hodder 1976) Michael Green offers responses to other common objections to Christianity.
- “I’m not the religious sort” – we talk about truth and fulfilment and destiny
- “You can’t believe in God these days” – suffering and meaninglessness, dignity and values
- “All religions lead to God” “Jesus was just a good man.” = we point to Jesus’s life and claims, death and resurrection
- “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere” – we need faith as well
- “I do my best – no man can do more”- the problem of guilt, we can’t save ourselves
- “Nothing can alter the past” – explain the difference Jesus and the cross makes
- “When you’re dead, you’re dead” – the resurrection and the empty tomb
- “You can’t change human nature – the transforming power of the Holy Spirit
The areas above suggest a wide variety of questions we may wish to discuss with not yet Christians in both formal and informal settings. I have compiled the list of topics and questions below for my own benefit. If it is of any use to anybody else, you are very welcome.
Disclaimer: Until this paper is completed and goes online I have never used or looked at any of the widely recommended “Table Talk” resources produced by The Ugly Duckling Company, available to buy from http://table-talk.org. Their materials were not the source of any questions, topics or titles suggested below.
SCIENCE AND RELIGION
“Hasn’t science disproved religion?”
“Science has disproved the Bible
“Can we prove God exists?”
“Where is the evidence that God even exists?”
“Do miracles happen today?”
“Why should I believe the Bible?
“All truth is relative
“The only thing we can be certain of is that we can’t be certain about anything”
“Why is there so much suffering in the world?
“Why do bad things happen to good people?”
“Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?”
“Where is God when I am hurting?
“How can God be good when the world is such a bad place?
“Why was Jesus special?”
“Stories about Jesus are myth, not history”
“Did Jesus ever claim to be God?
“Why do you believe Jesus rose from the dead?
“Jesus was just one great man among many”
“Do all religions lead to God?”
“There are hypocrites in the church”
“Why are there so many denominations?”
“Through history the church has done terrible things”
“Christians are too heavenly minded to be of any earthly use
“All the church cares about is money and buildings”
“Religion is just a crutch for the feeble
“Is mercy-killing always wrong?”
“What happens to us when we die?”
“Does prayer work?”
“The only rule is there are no rules”
“God will accept me as long as I do my best “
“Can’t I believe what I want as long as I’m sincere?”
“What is your God like?
“One God or Three Gods?
“The Christian faith is too negative”
“How Can I be sure I am a Christian?
“I believe in reincarnation
“Is the devil real?
“No one believes in sin anymore
“A loving God would not send people to hell?”