Sharing the Gospel: Answering Questions from Atheists
Written by Jenn Arman | November 3, 2013
Hi girls! In this final article in our “Sharing the Gospel” series, I’m going to address how to answer four common questions atheists ask about Christianity.
Debating an atheist is probably one of the hardest things a Christian can attempt. Some atheists can be condescending in their approach to Christians…their arguments can display an argumentative or mocking tone, and this can cause Christians to respond in unloving ways.
Understand that allowing an atheist to anger you and cause you to respond in anger will end the conversation because you’ve responded in an “un-Jesus-like” manner. For some atheists, provoking a Christian into a hypocritical (un-Jesus-like) response constitutes a “win.” If you’re going to talk about God, atheists expect you to live what you talk about. In short, atheists expect us to act like Jesus when we interact with them and with others.
Many atheists have read the Bible, and some have read more of the Bible than many Christians! Don’t assume you know the Bible better than they do. Now, on to the questions!
1. If God created everything, who created God?
No one. We can’t place God on the same level as humanity. God exists outside of time and space—that’s a fundamental belief of every Christian denomination. God exists in eternity, not in our historical timeline. Because He exists outside time and space as we know them, God has no need to have been “created,” and He wasn’t.
2. Doesn’t the doctrine of original sin (Adam, Eve and the tree of knowledge) show that Christians think knowledge is bad? Why would God want His people to be stupid?
Imagine a life where all you had ever known was goodness and innocence. God commanded Adam and Eve to learn everything about the world He’d given them. The command not to eat that specific fruit was God trying to protect their innocence while also giving them freedom to choose.
3. “Thou shall not kill”—does God violate His own commandment?
This translation is from the KJV. The Bible says that God ordered the killing of thousands of people by destroying various cities or helping Israel defeat/conquer other people; we can’t dispute that. Many modern translations use “murder” in place of “kill” because that is closer to the intent of the Hebrew word ratsach (raw-tsakh‘). Murder is killing without cause (not talking about motive). If you killed someone who was attacking you, then you’ve killed with cause. If you kill someone because you’re jealous of them, that’s killing without cause, or murder.
4. If God is omnipotent (all-powerful), why doesn’t He just eliminate all evil and suffering?
If God were to do this (and yes, He could), He would first have to take away our free will. You can’t have free will and have someone force their will upon you at the same time.
Questions you can ask your atheist friends:
- Are you 100 percent certain that there’s no God? If not, are you willing to look at the evidence objectively?
- Would you agree that just because we can’t see something with our eyes (gravity, magnetism, etc.) doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist?
- How can we know right from wrong unless there’s a moral law? Doesn’t every law need a lawgiver?
Girls, if you have other questions, you can always leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to help you with an answer!
Has this helped you feel more confident about sharing the Gospel with your atheist friends?
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. —2 Timothy 4:2
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