I Reject Christianity Because _______________
by Matt Smethurst
Don’t impose your exclusive views on me.
How can you believe in a God who’d allow so much senseless evil and suffering?
On what basis do you believe Jesus rose from the dead—besides blind faith, of course?
No religion has the whole truth—including yours.
Whether couched as questions or assertions, we’ve all encountered objections like these. Perhaps you’ve even voiced a few yourself. For some, of course, they’re smokescreens. For many others, though, they sincerely express confusion, frustration, uncertainty, and unbelief. As Christians we seek to prompt unbelievers to “doubt their doubts,” as Tim Keller puts it, but we must do so with patient love (2 Tim. 2:24-26). Our friends—and their objections—deserve to be treated with fairness and respect.
In the spirit of those old “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories, James Anderson utilizes a creative approach in his new book, What’s Your Worldview?: An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions (Crossway). In it he leads readers on an “interactive journey of discovery” aimed at helping us identify, understand, and evaluate our various worldviews. At a little more than 100 pages, What’s Your Worldview? would make for a winsome, non-threatening conversation starter with that skeptical friend or family member you love.
I posed four popular objections to Anderson, professor of theology and philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, in light of his new book.
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How can you say your perspective on truth is any more valid than anyone else’s? Truth is a personal and social construct, and it’s intolerant to impose your exclusive views on me.
Certainly everyone has their own perspective on the truth, but it doesn’t follow that all perspectives are equally valid or valuable. A neurosurgeon’s perspective on the gray stuff inside your head is different from mine, but which of us would you rather have performing brain surgery on you? If anyone’s perspective is just as valid as anyone else’s, it would make no sense for us to talk about “experts” or “specialists” in different fields.
The claim that “truth is a personal and social construct” is self-defeating, since it would mean the claim itself is merely a personal and social construct—in which case it doesn’t have to be universally true. It also appears to be an “exclusive view” since it excludes other views of truth.
As a Christian, I don’t seek to impose my views on other people, but I do try to explain the reasons why I hold those views, reasons I hope they’d also find persuasive. Knowing the truth is important to all of us, in all areas of life, and it would actually be quite selfish to keep our reasons to ourselves if they might help others in their pursuit of the truth…