As we seek to help our children see what we see in the Lord, there are certain difficulties that are frequently raised by them. It appears that through the universities and friends, and the internet, they are inundated with questions and doubts. I think it imperative that you know how to handle these questions about faith. In addition, the answers to these questions can also be helpful when you are trying to evangelize to others. Genuine concerns by our children are a sign of their seeking truth and should be handled with sympathetic listening and they should receive convincing answers.
So how should you approach the difficult concerns and questions that your children may bring up, particularly when they are adults?
- Don’t get drawn “offsides”. By that I mean don’t provide the answers before you hear the questions. You need to be courteous and you don’t want them to walk away because of your eagerness to tell the story.
- Don’t drown them in details. You can drown a person in a vast array of information essentially drowning them in details.
- Don’t talk down to them.
We should answer prayerfully and humbly but not condescendingly.
- Don’t serve up “canned goods”. Don’t give people pat answers or scripted answers. This may be something that you have memorized and it just comes out. Remember, your children don’t have that same vocabulary nor do they respect or appreciate it.
- Don’t shine the light in their face. When a cop stops you on the highway, they shine their flashlights right in your face. Shine light on their path not on their face. We want them to be motivated to move on not recoil.
- Treat their questions seriously as though the eternal destiny of the child hung upon the answer. Treat it as if you are the only person to answer the question in this moment for the child. Therefore we cannot be flip or glib or canned.
- Remember that our accurate answers do not save anyone.
- Only Jesus saves people.
- In light of that, prayerfulness and humility matter more than knowing all the right answers. Some of you reading this are probably paralyzed that someone is going to ask you that question that you don’t have a clue about. How do you respond? You say, “I don’t know the answer to that question, but I know there is an answer and I am going to research it and get back to you.”
- Therefore, we must be in touch with the Lord and informed by His word.
- Our chief purpose is to bear witness to Jesus Christ not to answer all of your children’s difficulties with Christianity and is the purpose of the scriptures.
- We need to accept how limited we are to persuade and how boundless is God’s power to do what we cannot do.
So what are the most difficult questions we may be asked and how do we respond to them?
DIFFICULT QUESTION #1
“You’ve been quoting a lot from the Bible, but why should I accept it as the authority?”
This is a question my son posed to me. How do you know that the bible is accurate and authoritative? If you can’t answer this question, every other question will fall on deaf ears. The Bible must be our textbook. They may quote others by saying that the Bible is full of errors. Don’t get distracted by asking them to show you one.
Here is where we start. First, the Bible makes claims for itself. Now quote 2 Tim. 3:16 “All scripture is inspired by God…” They may not see that as impressive, but we can say to them that the Bible is unique in that respect. There is no other book that I know of that makes that claim! No other book claims that in and of itself is the very word of God. It is interesting that the Bible says about itself that it is God’s book.
Secondly, I would point to the unity of the scriptures. I wonder if you have considered that what we have is a library rather than a book. There are 66 books in the Bible with 40 different authors, different in their backgrounds, different in their personalities, different in their experiences and relationship to history. And they were written over a period of thousands of years. If I were to sit with you and go through the Bible with you, you would discover an unbelievable unity. This could not be possible that over many years and multiple authors unless there was a creative stamp of the author himself whom the Bible says is God.
Thirdly, I would speak of fulfilled prophecy. Not to bore them with to0 many details I would say it is amazing that with the minor prophets, that they spoke of a messiah that was coming with specific terms and surprise Jesus fulfilled it to the very letter of the prophecy. I would add the Jesus verified scripture by quoting it.
Fourthly, I would share that this Bible has been circulated more than any other book in history. Nobody can say there has been another book like this. No other book has transcended the social, racial, and economic barriers like the Bible. In Christianity, there is no cast system. You could find the book in the hands of kings and paupers.
Fifthly, I would point to the life-changing power of the Bible. You might want to turn to Hebrews and quote how the Bible is like a two-edged sword changing the minds of who reads it. This is the only book I know of that has the power to transform a life. This is the perfect time to give your own testimony of how God has changed your life and heart. And then the person will be so convinced that we would become a Christian right there and then…Not for a moment will that happen.
Keep in mind that the fundamental problem in the human heart is not intellectual. It is moral. It is not the mind but the will. People saw Jesus face to face and still did not believe.
So when you are trying to answer a difficult question from you kids or anyone else that you are talking to, read voraciously but remember that humility in our posture, sensitivity in our hearts, and sincerity in our words will under God’s providence go a lot further any smart, canned, glib answers.
In the next blog, I will continue with more difficult questions from our children.
Source: Alistair Begg
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