Common Skeptical Objections to Christianity

Timothy Keller in his well-written The Reason for God (Dutton, 2008) lists the seven most common questions/objections he has encountered from skeptics in his successful ministry in New York City.

  1. There Can’t Be Just One True Religion
  2. How Could a Good God Allow Suffering?
  3. Christianity Is a Straitjacket
  4. The Church Is Responsible for So Much Injustice
  5. How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?
  6. Science Has Disproved Christianity
  7. You Can’t Take the Bible Literally

Keller gives helpful responses to these objections.

Recently I have been doing research on the history of apologetics.  Most of these objections have been voiced by skeptics through the centuries and answered by Christian apologists.  As times and conditions change new dress is given to these questions. We must make intelligent and fresh responses to the specific questions being asked.

As postmodernism has become more widespread the first objection, “There Can’t Be Just One True Religion,” has become more prominent. Also since 9/11 the fourth objection, “The Church Is Responsible for So Much Injustice,” has been voiced more frequently by skeptics. However Christians need to be prepared to respond to each of these seven.

Local churches, campus ministries, and youth ministries could develop a series of seven classes preparing believers to respond to these objections. A sermon series could be developed dealing with these issues.

Subscribe here to receive e-mail updates

One thought on “Common Skeptical Objections to Christianity

  1. My interest in apologetics was renewed in 2006 when I went with my colleague Wes Paddock to hear Richard Dawkins speak at KU. His main arguments were 1) Science has disproved the existence of God 2) Christianity denies the existence of all other gods and the truth of all other religions–why not eliminate one more. 3) People are basically either good or bad, only religion can make a good person do something really evil. 4) The Bible is a primitive, superstitious, hateful book.

    I think these are pretty much variations of some of your 7 above.

    The “new” atheists are pretty obnoxious and aggressive. I read some of their web sites for a while but quit because they weren’t presenting any new arguments, just name calling. It felt almost like reading porn. One who is not quite as obnoxious is Valerie Tarico. Her main argument is a variant of “Science has disproved god.” In her case it is cognitive science. She believes we know understand how the brain works well enough to explain away religious beliefs and religious experience.

    I do think we need to listen to those who presents reasoned arguments. I think we need to make sure we understand the Gospel first, and make sure we understand what we are defending. We have to pick our battles.

    I’m looking forward to seeing you book on apologetics when it is finished.