Why Some People Simply Will Not Be Convinced
by J Warner Wallace
I spent last week with Frank Turek (at the CrossExamined Instructors Academy) and Bobby Conway (the One Minute Apologist) training and talking about the evidence for God’s existence and the reliability of the Gospels. The three of us have dedicated ourselves to helping people overcome their skeptical objections to the Christian worldview, but all of us recognize that some people will simply not be convinced by our arguments and presentation of evidence. In fact, I know that most people will not be convinced. Why? Because (as I’ve written in Cold Case Christianity) there are three reasons why someone will “shun” (reject) a truth claim:
Some Reject Ra”shun”ally
Sometimes folks simply have rational doubts based on the evidence. You’ll recognize this form of resistance when you hear someone say something akin to, “I need more evidence. I’m not convinced.” For those of us who have taken the time to prepare ourselves as good Case Makers, this is the kind of skeptic we are hoping for; someone who’s resistance is grounded in a lack of information. Unfortunately this seldom the kind of person we encounter.
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Some Reject Emo”shun”ally
Many people have doubts that are purely emotional. You’ll recognize this form of resistance when you hear someone say something like, “I know a lot of hypocritical Christians. If that’s what Christianity is about, I want no part of it.” Some skeptics have been injured or offended by Christians and now struggle to overcome negative feelings that prevent them from evaluating the case fairly.
Some Reject Voli”shun”ally
When I was an atheist, I denied the truth for volitional reasons. I was willfully resistant and refused to accept any argument offered by Christians I knew. In fact, I actually hated the idea of God and all it represented. I was happy running my own life; I was stubbornly independent. People like me typically say things like, “I don’t care if it is true, I’m not changing my life.”
If you’re a Christian trying to make the case for what you believe, recognize that your jury is filled with all three kinds of people, and only the first group will probably be willing to listen to your presentation. I’ve discovered most people actually fall into the third category; their willful resistance to the truth actually prevents them from fairly examining the case for Christianity…
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