By Jeff Vines
This article is no longer available online, but the entire three-part series is available for purchase as a downloadable resource/pdf.
A Conversation With Skeptics
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Jeff Vines recalls his conversation with a circle of skeptics who challenged him in an Australian hotel restaurant. During the meeting, Vines responds to three major questions all Christians and non-Christians grapple with:
1. How can we believe in God with so much evil in the world?
2. How can you claim that God is good and loving with all the pain and suffering in the world?
3. How could a loving God send anyone to Hell?
This six-page resource originally appeared as a three-part series in CHRISTIAN STANDARD. All downloads include permission to reproduce the material up to 10 times for ministry and educational purposes.
To order this resource, CLICK HERE; To sample the first few paragraphs of article one, continue reading below . . .
The more I talked, the more irritated Sherri became. Sherri was a philosophy major at a local university and a clear thinker, and she realized my response to Dan had not addressed the real issue.
She fired back, “If God is so good, gracious, and kind, Jeff, then why is there so much pain in this world? Have you seen the pictures of those starving children? Where is the loving God Christians talk so much about? While it may be true that God, as you say, is the one who determines the categories of good and evil, you still have not addressed why this all-powerful, all-loving God allows so much suffering in the world he created.”
While Dan suggested the very presence of evil disproved God’s existence, Sherri’s accusation assumes God exists but questions his very nature. In other words, Sherri did not deny God is real, but questioned whether or not Christians correctly understand him. Is God really a God of love?
In retrospect, I am convinced that Sherri merely verbalized the pain and turmoil in the lives of everyone around that table. A part of us wants to believe in a Creator. Without such faith, rational beings know there is no real hope, meaning, and purpose to the lives we live and the heartache we endure. But the presence of such enormous pain and suffering in our world makes it extremely difficult to believe in a God of love and kindness.
Ironically, right before my eyes was the perfect illustration to sustain the truth: Richard, Sherri’s boyfriend.