The Biggest Issue That Caused Me To Doubt My Faith

by Sean McDowell

Growing up with a famous apologist father, I learned how to defend the faith early in my life. But as a college sophomore in the mid 90s, I hit a period of serious doubt. I got online and discovered the secular web, which was built largely around responding to my father’s book Evidence that Demands A Verdict. Doctors, lawyers, historians, and other really smart people challenged the faith I had adopted from my family.

While I knew my dad meant well, for the first time I really started to wonder: What if Jesus is not God? What if I grew up in another religion? Could Darwinism be true, and if so, what would it mean for my faith? And so on. But the biggest issue that really tripped me up was the claim that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus was copied from the mystery religions of the ancient near east.

Ancient Mystery Religions

Adonis. Mithras. Osiris. Attis. As the story goes, these various pagan deities pre-date the historical Jesus and have remarkable similarities to the Gospel accounts. There are claims of virgin births, twelve followers, teachings in parables, working of miracles, and resurrections. Could Christianity have borrowed from these claims?

I look back now and find these claims incredible. But it was quite unsettling when I first encountered them. And because of the Internet, and movies like The Da Vinci Code, Religulous, and Zeitgeist, they remain popular today.

Three Quick Responses

Thus, when I helped my father with the recent update of Evidence that Demands A Verdict, I was determined to include the single best chapter responding to the “copycat theory.” Here are three simple truths from that chapter…


The Biggest Issue That Caused Me To Doubt My Faith