In The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, Tim Keller provides a Biblical answer to these common objections:
- There can’t be just one true religion
- How could a good God allow suffering?
- Christianity is a straightjacket
- The church is responsible for so much injustice
- How can a loving God send people to hell?
- Science has disproved Christianity
- You can’t take the Bible literally
After devoting a chapter to each objection, Keller concludes with these powerful words:
If we let our unexamined beliefs undermine our confidence in the Bible, the cost may be greater than we think.
If you don’t trust the Bible enough to let it challenge and correct your thinking, how could you ever have a personal relationship with God? In any truly personal relationship, the other person has to be able to contradict you. For example, if a wife is not allowed to contradict her husband, they won’t have an intimate relationship. Remember the (two!) movies The Stepford Wives? The husbands of Stepford, Connecticut, decide to have their wives turned into robots who never cross the wills of their husbands. A Stepford wife was wonderfully compliant and beautiful, but no one would describe such a marriage as intimate or personal.
Now, what happens if you eliminate anything from the Bible that offends your sensibility and crosses your will? If you pick and choose what you want to believe and reject the rest, how will you ever have a God who can contradict you? You won’t! You’ll have a Stepford God! A God, essentially, of your own making, and not a God with whom you can have a relationship and genuine interaction. Only if your God can say things that outrage you and make you struggle (as in a real friendship or marriage!) will you know that you have gotten hold of a real God and not a figment of your imagination. So an authoritative Bible is not the enemy of a personal relationship with God. It is the precondition for it.