The Nature of our Arguments and the Christian Worldview

The circular nature of our debates goes something like this: A believer may begin by quoting the Bible to us, like John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

So we pick on one of the issues in the quote, and we may say something like, “I see no reason for God to condemn us for our sins. The punishment does not fit the crime.” And the debate begins.

The believer may argue that our sins do indeed deserve eternal condemnation because they are an offense against an infinite God.

Then we may respond that hell is such a terrible punishment no civilized person would punish their worst enemy by casting them into hell.

The believer will probably respond that people in hell prefer to be there than in the light and glory of God in heaven.

We might ask why God ever gave us free will in the first place if people end up in hell.

Believers might respond that God wants people who freely worship him.

Non-believer: Besides, it has been shown that there was a long process of transmission of the texts of the Bible along with a long process of canonization that we cannot really know what the Bible truly says, and if so, why do you believe it?

Believer: Because God guided this process perfectly behind the scenes.

Non-believer: How do you know God exists in the first place?

Believer: There are some strong philosophical arguments for the existence of God.

Non-believer: No, all of them have holes in them.

Believer: But they add up cumulatively to the existence of the God of the Bible, besides, there is very strong evidence for the resurrection of Jesus which confirms both that God exists and that the Bible is God’s word.

Non-believer: No, the evidence for the resurrection is very weak coming from an ancient superstitious world.

Believer: The rest of the ancient world was indeed superstitious, but early Christians were different and based their beliefs upon evidence. And Jesus died on the cross for my sins to I can be saved and rose again.

Non-believer: I see no way that a human sacrifice can do anything to save me from my sins.

Believer: Jesus took upon himself the punishment for your sins so you can be forgiven.

Non-believer: Then what about those who have never heard?

Believer: God knows their hearts.

Non-believer: What about all of the intense suffering in the world?

Believer: God gave us free will, and even if I cannot say why there is so much suffering, God knows the reason why, and I trust him.

Non-believer: Why do you trust God when it comes to all of this?

Believer: Because the Bible is true and is confirmed by arguments for God’s existence and the resurrection of Jesus.


Okay? This is the nature of our debates, and it goes round and round.

Here’s the rub. We are dealing with a whole worldview. Worldviews serve as a set of control beliefs that reinforce one another. When an argument is weak on one issue the Christian can lean upon other background beliefs to support the weaknesses in any one particular issue we’re speaking about. But we can only speak of one issue at a time! We cannot effectively deal with all of the issues of the whole Christian worldview.

That’s why I wrote my book. It deals with all of the major issues of the Christian worldview. The Christian who has a hard time defending hell who must punt to a separate issue, like the omniscience of God, or the resurrection, will find those other issues dealt with in that same book. In my opinion we cannot effectively deal with the whole Christian worldview unless the Christian is willing to read up on all of the issues in a skeptical book like mine.

So round and round we go. Where we stop nobody knows.

Christian, if I hadn’t written my book, I would still highly recommend it. If you seriously want to deal with the whole range of issues you must defend, then I challenge you to get it and read it. You will not have the option of retreating to background beliefs to support your other beliefs, because they are all dealt with in my one book.

I dare you. If you think your faith is on solid ground then you have nothing to lose. If you can read my book and your faith becomes stronger, then I have helped you. If your faith falters then your faith wasn’t worth having in the first place. Think about it, there is nothing to lose. And you will learn a few things in the process, no matter what you conclude when you're done with it.