Tag Archives: STR

Accurate answers to any “Why did God __________?” questions

I’m paraphrasing here, but Greg Koukl made some good points on an old Podcast of Stand To Reason that I thought were useful in answering common questions from both Christians and non-Christians.  The question from the show was, “Why didn’t God just kill Adam and Eve after they disobeyed God?”  When we get questions like that the following answers are usually accurate, even if they aren’t completely satisfying to the questioner.

  1. I don’t know.
  2. Because He wanted to.
  3. For his glory.

Sometimes the answers are in the Bible, but not always.  But that shouldn’t rock your world.  It can be interesting to speculate on the answers based on what we do know about God. In this case, Koukl noted that by letting humans live and ultimately coming to earth as a substitutionary atonement for our sins that God was able to demonstrate more of his attributes.  It would have been completely legitimate for him to kill Adam and Eve for their rebellion, but He chose not to.

It is often more productive to focus on what we do know than on what we don’t know.  The end of Job is in the Bible for a reason.  Ask all the questions you like, but don’t pretend that God didn’t reveal everything to us that we need to know.

And don’t get spooked if there are tough questions you can’t answer, whether the questions are your own, from other believers or from skeptics.  In an even greater sense than how a toddler can’t understand why his parent does something, we don’t know near enough to explain why God is or isn’t doing something in every situation.

We have a winner . . .

tactics. . .in the contest to give away a copy of Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing your Christian Convictions by Greg Koukl: Matthew from iPandora is the winner!

My youngest daughter picked a number at random to determine the winner.  She is part way through the book herself and knows a few of the tactics (Full disclosure: I offered her a $20 incentive to read it). 

Matthew’s energetic entry, while much appreciated, did not play into the decision:

Ohh Ohh, Pick me! Pick ME!

Congratulations, Matthew.  I’ll send you an email separately to get your address.  Thanks to everyone else who entered.  I’ll have another giveaway soon.

Even if you didn’t win I encourage you to consider reading the book. Greg Koukl leads Stand to Reason, my favorite apologetics ministry.  They have a great balance of grace and truth, chock full of great bits of knowledge but just as much focus on how to think clearly and how to use an artful manner to convey that knowledge.  If you aren’t listening to their Podcast I encourage you to check it out.

The tactics aren’t manipulative.  They focus on asking questions and listening, so you are sure you aren’t misstating someone’s views and you know why they believe what they do.  Then you use questions to point out any flaws in their reasoning.  He coaches you on how to avoid “steamrollers” who are pushy and won’t listen to you.  He also provides many examples of logical fallacies you’ll encounter when talking with people about Christianity.

I’ve used these techniques a lot — mostly in person, because online I tend to take shortcuts and get too fact-heavy (not that I’m using a wise strategy in those cases).  These tactics have helped me navigate conversations with multiple people from virtually every religion, cult or non-religion (e.g., atheism) without starting any jihads. 

Perhaps I shouldn’t mention this, but the tactics would work for non-Christian convictions as well.  They are pretty universal.