I’ve always been brimming with curiosity. As a child I peppered my parents with so many questions that they finally bought me an encyclopedia, and said, “Read this! The answers are in here.” Yes, some of them were, but not the deeper ones that I began to ponder as I got older.Is religion based on myths and fables? If God exists, why doesn’t He make Himself more obvious to us? How could a loving God allow so much suffering in the world? Isn’t the Bible filled with contradictions and bad history? Is the resurrection of Jesus credible? Hasn’t science trumped faith? Isn’t Christianity narrow-minded and intolerant? Where does morality come from?
The Christians I knew earlier in my life didn’t want to discuss these things. Basically, I was told to keep quiet. My conclusion: there must not be any good answers, or else they would be willing to engage with me on these issues. Thus, my road to atheism was paved by unanswered questions.
My agnostic wife’s conversion to Christianity, and the resulting positive changes in her character and values, prompted me to use my journalism and legal background to investigate the credibility of Christianity. After nearly two years of seeking answers, I became convinced that science and history point powerfully toward the truth of the Christian faith. I received Jesus as my Forgiver and Leader in 1981.
But guess what? The questions didn’t stop!
Why are so many of my prayers unanswered? If God has a plan for my life, why doesn’t He make it clearer? Why doesn’t God simply remove my sinful desires? Why are there times that God feels so distant from me?
What I’ve come to learn is simple: Questions are good—as long as answers are sincerely pursued. In fact, the world is in desperate need of Christians who are able to intelligently discuss these topics with spiritualseekers and fellow believers—and to do so, as 1 Peter 3:15 says, “with gentleness and respect.” We ought to emulate Jesus, who didn’t flinch at questions from anyone who was honestly seeking truth. That’s why this new book by my friend and Houston Baptist University colleague Jeremiah J. Johnston is so important. His experience with Christian Thinkers Society has exposed him to hundreds of questions that are roadblocks to seekers or stumbling blocks for Christians. He has culled through these objections in order to provide solid answers and analysis to real questions being asked by real people.
This is a winsome and accessible book, drawing from Jeremiah’s considerable academic training, his pastoral work in the trenches of ministry, and his deeply felt passion to reach people with truth while equipping others to do the same. His analysis is unflinching, his approach is practical, and his writing is clear—a great combination! Whether you personally wrestle with objections or not, the chances are that you will encounter friends and family members who are authentically searching for answers to the big questions of life. Let Jeremiah prepare you to be purveyors of truth and hope to an increasingly skeptical world.
Be prepared to think…and to grow.
Author, The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith
Professor, Houston Baptist University