What would make a Christian doubt his or her faith? Many young people face a difficult time when their beliefs are challenged for the first time. Below, Dr. Craig hears the struggles of a college student who has encountered ideas and objections new to her. He then offers some sage advice: don’t allow your doubts to become overinflated, break each objection down into its premisses and determine if those are true, and draw distinctions between objections against optional facets of Christianity versus objections against an essential tenet.
Dear Dr. Craig,
I am a third-year philosophy major at the University of Kentucky, and I have been a Christian since I was four years old. A couple years ago, I read Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ and I was very impressed; I think it is a great witnessing tool.
I write to you because I am beginning to waver in my faith. It started with my best friend, who was very on fire for God, but the more secular literature she read and the more she was exposed to the apparent problems within Christianity, the more skeptical she became. Especially hard for her is trying to believe that the selfless, upright, morally good person who doesn’t believe in Jesus will go to hell while the carnal Christian who serves Christ and others only halfheartedly will go to heaven. In my case, I am greatly distressed by a few of my agnostic friends; one in particular—he swears to me that if he knew what God wanted, he would do it, but why would God allow Christianity to not make any sense to him? He doesn’t think it’s fair for a God to create him knowing that he would have such a hard time believing in Him, and make it so that he would go to hell by default.
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When my best friend told me she was struggling, I figured it was just a phase and started thinking about what books to recommend to her. But then something hit me that had never really been an option before—what if Christianity really isn’t true?
My intuition is still that it is, but I am in dire need of your help—someone whom I know has a strong faith as well as a strong philosophical background. What advice could you offer me, my best friend, and the non-believers we know to elucidate Christianity and rekindle our faith? My dad, a former pastor, suggests reading the Bible itself, as it is convicting, and telling nonbelievers to wait on a call from God. But I was wondering what you would say about all of this?
Any help/encouragement you could provide about why Christianity is the one true way would be immensely appreciated…
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