Rapid Response: I Can’t Believe In God Because I Have Too Many Unanswered Questions

by J Warner Wallace

In our Rapid Response series, we tackle common concerns about (and objections to) the Christian worldview by providing short, conversational responses. These posts are designed to model what our answers might look like in a one-on-one setting, while talking to a friend or family member. What would you say if someone said, “I can’t believe in God (or Christianity) because I have so many unanswered questions. In fact, some of these questions can’t even be answered by Christians!” Here is a conversational example of how I recently responded to this statement:

“I’m a Christian ‘Case Maker’ and I can’t even answer every possible question someone might ask. I know other Christians must feel the same way, and they’re probably thinking, ‘If professional apologists can’t answer every question, how can we? And how can we continue to believe something when we have unanswered questions?’

Well, a lot of it comes down to what I call, ‘evidential insufficiency’. Every criminal trial illustrates answers an important question: At what point does a jury think it has enough to make a decision? We have to remind every jury that they’ll always have unanswered questions; in every case. I’ve never had a case where there wasn’t a series of unanswered (and even unanswerable) questions, because you’re never going to be able to answer every question; I don’t care how long you look at the case.

We ask jurors to make a decision in spite of those unanswered questions. As a matter of fact, that’s why the standard of proof in criminal trials is not ‘beyond a possible doubt’; it’s ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. If the standard of proof was “beyond a possible doubt,” we’d never convict anyone. There are lots of things we believe, even though we don’t have every possible piece of evidence to justify my belief…

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