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Objections to the Gospel, Lesson 03

Answering Objections To The Gospel Free Course, Lesson 03
Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Free Course

Dealing With Intellectual Objections

  • “How do you know Jesus really existed?”
  • “Genesis is just a compilation of manuscripts from several different sources. It isn’t authoritative.”
  • “What about the people who never hear about Jesus? What happens to them?”

Every Christian at some time or another has had somebody ask them a question about their beliefs. For many people who do not know Jesus, Christians are a curiosity. They think they know what Christians believe (although they don’t; if they really did know about grace, forgiveness, and eternal life, more of them would be believers!), but have heard so many negative perspectives, oversimplifications, and attacks, that what they know is incomplete.

We live in a time where evidences for the veracity of the Christian message are not readily available to the general public. Those who look can find them easily enough, but they are not highly visible. As such, a professing Christian will draw frequent questions. In the same way that Jesus did not fault Thomas for needing evidence, we should not fault non-Christians for needing evidence.

Answering intellectual objections can be as easy as referring someone to a book or website about apologetics. It can also be more involved, requiring much patience and many conversations. Here are some strategies to make the most of dealing with the intellectual objections of others:

1. Ask questions. Before giving a detailed answer that may miss the intent of the question, probe a little bit to get a clearer picture of what is being asked. Ask the person where they heard that fact, or why they hold that particular objection. Ask them if they have read any books dealing with the topic, and if so, which ones? Find out their church background, and how that has influenced them. Getting a good picture of the person, the nature of their question, and their background will help tremendously to avoid wasting time or falling victim to miscommunication.

2. Don’t argue. Remember from 1 Peter 3:15 that we are not charged with convincing someone, but with giving him or her an answer. God and His word will change a person’s heart and beliefs. Choosing to not argue is a very powerful stance to take. Many non-believers stereotype Christians as pushy and argumentative, and are surprised when we are not that way. Besides, arguing is rude, causes people to get defensive, and communicates that the aggressor is coming from a point of weakness that requires opponents to be attacked in order to win.

3. Admit if you don’t know an answer. It is OK not to know something. To be ready to give an answer is not the same as being omnipotent. No one is all knowing. Besides, the humility demonstrated when someone says they don’t know an answer is very appealing to many people. Always make sure to find out the answer to that question, though. Simply stating, “I’m not sure. Can I look in to it a little and get back to you in a couple days” is a great way to handle a question that you don’t know.

4. Be familiar with several different resources. There are numerous good books and websites available that deal with issues that may be encountered when dealing with an intellectual objection. One should familiarize oneself with some of these resources, so that the honest inquirer can be directed there for further investigation.

5. Beware of ‘rabbit trails’. Rabbit trails occur when the discussion goes off on a tangent, or when inconsequential issues take the forefront, or when a person asks the next question before the last question has been answered. Don’t follow the rabbit trail, because it is confusing and counterproductive, and many times leads to argument. Stay on track, and politely insist that one point is made before another one is taken on.

6. Know the truth. The truth is the most powerful weapon we have to counter error. Many people think that if they know all the answers to any question that may be asked, that they will then have command over the facts in a discussion. A better plan is to have a command over the truth, and deal with the errors as they arise. To study every erroneous view of Scripture is nearly impossible; to acquire a solid understanding of Scriptural truth takes much work, but less time. After all, truth comes from one perspective, whereas error comes from many.

7. Know when to end the conversation. If a person begins mocking, or arguing, or talking in circles, or putting up smoke screens, or if the person is unreceptive, it may be the time to end the conversation. Many Christians fear this, as if ending the dialogue will somehow damage the other’s opinion of Jesus. But again, we are charged with giving an answer, not with changing someone’s mind. If the answer is not sufficient to change their thinking, it can be counterproductive to continue. Simply thank them for their time, mention that you enjoyed talking with them, and move on.

8. Pray. God loves the head as well as the heart. God hears when we ask Him to illuminate truth to another person.

Answering intellectual objections can be fun and rewarding. It is a time a great growth, when faith and knowledge are challenged. Keep in mind that God loves it when people seek truth, whether that person is in Christ or not. A person apart from Christ must seek truth to find Jesus, and we can help him in his search!

Questions to Consider

What are some ways to know if a conversation has become unfruitful? How should you respond?

What intellectual objection has caused you to read and study the most? Write two pages on how you would answer that objection if you came across it today.

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Answering Objections To The Gospel Free Course, Lesson 03
Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Free Course

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3 Comments on "Objections to the Gospel, Lesson 03"

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  1. 1. What are some ways to know if a conversation has become unfruitful? How should you respond?
    2. What intellectual objection has caused you to read and study the most? Write two pages on how you would answer that objection if you came across it today.

    If the conversation arrives to that level of unfruitful ending than we should consider some of reasons that has behind it . Many times it has nothing to do with us yet with the person lifestyle. .We can ask to call again if the person is not willing to enter in to further discussion and see for response thy give us. Sometimes it is birthday, sometimes someone passed away and are thy in suffering because their heart crying in pain.??
    We need to consider all this and be always kind and showing that meekness in us.. Now if this person has seen us as Christ Follower and the seed has entered in their heart, thy will ask us to return. Yet many times the” Club” religion has placed kind of separation among the truth followers. Yet remembering to be polite and with guidance of Holy Spirit in our heart always we need to at least ask to leave some leaflets of the Ministry of Christ . keep also in mind it maybe cultural difference .Even so we need to remember who we represent in this sharing of Gods Good News. As a ambassadors of our Lord Jesus Christ .
    Here is the reason why for years were sitting on that fence .The reason I have taken to heart with prayer in to become better servant in field of Christ service. Paul told us we need Faith, Hope and Agape in us .Trough studies in prayer for guidance of Holy spirit of our Father everlasting God and Creator of all mankind that created us all equal on the image of Him. Yes I talking of Yahweh God of above in Christ who is our New Adam and trough Him each human being has hope for everlasting life. What is everlasting life?, once I was asked. Who wants to live forever .It would be but boring.
    Let us remember this are so called Christians that lost their way like those Israelis in 40 years of wondering trough desert of world in hope to arrive to Promised Land. Christianity today is in similar stage. How often you heard this; “When the times will be for Christ to return”. Yes just like those in desert asking when we will arrive to land of Milk and Honey. Yes in those days when people would be unkind toward your willingness it adds to damp your feeling .Yet now watching those rabbit trails’ so not to wonder away from point of discussion. To me it was always told, keep your eyes on the prize . How true indeed. Willingness of heart and mind with all strength is designed by God’s Yahwehs will trough Christ to correct our paths and learne in life .

    Few years ago were an volunteer in Nursing homes for people which are suffering from Dementia. Due to few languages that I can speak, here in different Nursing homes where visiting elderly man and woman .Each of them where diagnosed to be suffering in advanced stage of Dementia. Nurses where kind, and many times thy where saying how thy have no priest to visit this people often as I do .You see I would read from bible in their own language, talk to them about good old days and what Christ has promised about everlasting life .Sometimes thy would be there actively speaking just like there were no sickness in them, than other times thy where in another world.. For years in my heart had this wish to be an active minister of Christ .Yet I had no idea how to go about it. So in my prayers I did ask for guidance. Looking back now indeed can see wonders of God Yahweh in Christ in action .Than again my heart has gone out to those people that needed a someone to be there as minister to tell them about promise of Christ and what is expected . You know, when I was ordained for more than a month had this burning sensation in my heart. Not if one suffers from such heart burn but as a good heat that makes you spread your wings and preach to all world. I felt like climbing up on the roof and shout:-“Listen people of the world, Christ are our Saviour, joy to the world as our Lord is soon returning.”
    There where people in their 90 –et year who simple waved in disregard of Christ Yet thy wanted someone to talk to them in their language .Cultural difference never made me to be uneasy. Patients is a virtue it is told and even thy did not wanted to hear of Christ ,yet they wanted to hear about their homeland . Yes thy where old man forgotten by their families .Yes, yet one who was an foreign diplomat who retired here was the most opposed to Christ as such yet loved to attend mass in Latin .Sometimes you see the world through them and makes you wonder are the people because of the higher service in the world became hollow and empty because thy are part of this world and reject Christ .?Thy build this outside importance yet thy suffer inside because of pride .Each time when I left this old mans room in Nursing Home had sad feeling toward him.He was an old used up yet suffering man who has not left many years to be on this earth .Yet he rejected Christ with hate .Each time when I left him alone in his room had a short discussion with Nurse i charge. She find him same .Each of us are here on Earth for time been only and if this is known, why we behave in manor as we do? What makes us pick up that sword against our fellow man? Are we preaching and all words of Christ are fouling on deaf ears? Yet when we think of Christ words that were one of signs that we are on doorstep of this End days. God Bless

  2. TebisolieX says:

    Hello. how are you?))

  3. pletchertoe says:

    it’s really helpful,thanks very much.

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