“Be merciful to those who doubt;”
Jude 22 (NIV84)
Have you ever heard a presentation of the Gospel that goes something like this: “Hell is hot, death is certain, Jesus saves, turn or burn”? This is the Ripley’s (Believe It or Not) version of the Gospel. While this presentation may work—if only pragmatically—on a theological level, it’s a complete mess on a personal, relational level. It falls so short of the mark. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who hear the message of Jesus Christ just this way.
I came across a common theme in atheists’ objections to Christianity three times last week—specifically that Christians are misguided. You know: the Bible is a bunch of fairy tales and legends, a loving god wouldn’t allow evil and suffering, there is no god, hell is an invention, science disproves Christianity, and so forth. (If you’re not running into these objections might you be playing it a little too safe in sharing your faith?) One atheist posted a rant in which the sophomoric level of his uninformed statements exposed his unwillingness to think rationally about theism and Christianity. They also pointed to a long line of Believe-It-or-Not presentations that left negative impressions. (His argument denying the plausibility of God was solely based upon his personal conviction that there can be no such thing as hell.) Who ‘shared’ their faith with him, and how? Too much truth and not enough grace? Continue reading