A gracEmail reader writes: “I have recently been involved in conversations with a philosophy student who has lost his faith. Several issues in the Bible trouble him, in the areas of original sin, predestination, and the nature of the resurrection. Can you point me to Scriptures or to other reading materials that might help?”
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Philosophy students tend to think of Christianity in terms of an intellectual puzzle to be solved — and to suppose that they cannot believe until they have all the answers. Unfortunately, that will never happen. Christianity is not primarily an intellectual exercise but a personal encounter with God in Jesus Christ. Theology is “faith seeking understanding,” and there is plenty of room and time for that later. The fundamental issue is whether one is willing to accept that God is God and we are not, and to receive God’s love for sinners as shown and as justified in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Although intellectual answers do not produce faith, intellectual questions may function as hindrances to faith. There are many fine books which help answer some of the most common questions. Along that line, I recommend two classics, MERE CHRISTIANITY by C. S. Lewis and HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT by Francis A. Schaeffer; and two more recent works, REASON ENOUGH by Clark Pinnock and SIMPLY CHRISTIAN by N.T. Wright. You can order these through your favorite bookstore — or call Moyer’s Family Bookstore at 1-800-632-6657.
Ultimately, the best you can do for your friend is to pray for him (only God can shine the light in human hearts to reveal Jesus Christ in his glory) and to show him Christ’s love, even while you don’t have all the answers. None of us will have them all in this life. In the meantime, I invite you to look at gracEmails on various specific topics. For a topical index and an alphabetical list, click here.