Case-Making 101: The Christian Worldview and the problem of doubt, evil and suffering

by Teri Dugan

Questions and doubts:

What do you do when you have questions and doubts about God or your faith? Questions can be good if it moves us forward to finding answers. I had a lot of questions about Christianity and I did not do anything about that for years except to become a doubtful skeptic. Doubt because of unanswered questions can be a terrible thing if it causes us to settle into apathy or worse.

Charles Templeton vs. Billy Graham—Why the difference?

Charles Templeton:

I had gone through a conversion experience as an incredibly green youth. I lacked the intellectual skills and the theological training needed to buttress my beliefs when – as was inevitable – questions and doubts began to plague me…. My reason had begun to challenge and sometimes to rebut the central beliefs of the Christian faith.  -Charles Templeton

Charles Templeton was set to become the greatest evangelist of the twentieth century, but he abruptly walked away from God and the Christian faith because he could no longer live with the doubts that had developed in him. He went on to become a vocal atheist.

Before he died in 2001 Charles Templeton told Lee Strobel, in an interview for the book The Case for Faith,” that even though he didn’t believe in God anymore he missed Jesus. How sad that statement is. Jesus is God and he came to show us the person of God. Jesus is where all of our questions and doubts can be taken and we will find answers and peace in studying His Word.

Where Charles Templeton went wrong:

  • His prayer life was questionable, he struggled with doubts but never said he prayed over his doubts.
  • He went to Princeton, but only had his doubts reinforced.
  • He did not pursue classic Christian theology and doctrine, nor did he study Christian Apologetics.
  • He did not make God’s Word (the Bible) his first priority and ultimate authority.
  • He did not allow Jesus’ sacrifice to be personal for him.
  • He did not persevere through his trials trusting outcomes to God.
  • He gave up and walked away from God—God did not leave him, he left God.

Billy Graham:

All of us want somebody to love us. Well, I want to tell you that God loves you. He loves you so much that he gave us his Son to die on the cross for our sins. And he loves you so much that he will come into your life and change the direction of your life and make you a new person, whoever you are.  -Billy Graham

Billy Graham, Templeton’s good friend, did become the greatest evangelist of the twentieth Century! When Billy Graham suffered through times of doubt, and he did, he went…

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Case-Making 101: The Christian Worldview and the problem of doubt, evil and suffering – Truth, Faith and Reason