How Do I Defeat Objections to Christianity?
by Randy Everist
My fellow Christians who are interested in apologetics, we have a problem. What is it?, you may ask. Well, we are quite zealous to defend the faith. And that is good. When we see a problem, or an objection, or an argument against the truth of God or Christianity, we want to prove it wrong. But almost every day, I see Christians chasing rabbit trails, or responding in odd or unhelpful ways. So I want to offer what I think will be some helpful, but possibly random, tips. This list is not meant to be exhaustive; feel free to comment what you think in the section below!
1. Don’t feel you have to prove everything wrong.
An interesting fact about those of us who love apologetics and are zealous to defend the faith is that we are all too quick to shoulder the “burden of disproof.” It happens so much that skeptics have become quite used to it. They come in, fire off a string of barely related assertions and demand that their charges be addressed. Let me tell you, Christian, you don’t have to disprove a single thing. Why should you believe anything without any reasons to believe it? Only once a clear argument is made should you discuss it. This leads us to my next tip.
2. Focus on one argument at a time.
This may come about by simply requesting that you only talk about one thing at a time with an objector, or both of you agree to one central topic. Things will get plenty complicated in a good debate as it is. Trying to have several at once will lead to mind-numbing confusion, frustration, weak or missed arguments/objections, or all of the above.
3. Figure out precisely what is being claimed by the argument/objection.
Sometimes arguments are hopelessly ambiguous. That is, the way a proposition or premise is worded could mean two or more things, and you have no way of knowing which is meant. Usually, it makes a big difference. So you can do one of three things here: you can guess which one is meant, and then try to show the entailments based on those guesses. This is by far the most work, and I don’t recommend it, because, usually, you will have wasted your time on everything but the right meaning. Next, you could lay out the meanings, and ask which one is meant. This is better, but the objector can always backtrack and claim he meant something else entirely…
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