Answering Skepticism

Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Col 4:5–6; cf. 1 Pet 3:15)

The following statements of skeptical positions include responses to advance discussion of truth. Christian reasoning overcomes skepticism.

A) Moral Skepticism

  • “People should decide for themselves right from wrong.”
  • “I think [this person in the news] is wrong.”

Response:

  • “Are you supporting others to choose whatever morality that they want and decide how they want to value others?”
  • “Should we tolerate people by a personal moral standard or is there a universal standard?”
  • “Is there are a standard for human rights or can society or governments decide those rights?”
  • “Is there a virtue that has always existed? How can virtue exist without someone to possess it?”
  • “Should our morality come from ourselves, society, or instinct?”
  • “Can anyone perfectly keep their own moral convictions?”
  • “Has the world demonstrated that they can corrupt morality?”
  • “Is it morally right that people can choose for themselves what is right and wrong?”

B) Scientific Skepticism

  • “The natural world is all that there is.”
  • “I only believe in science.”

Response:

  • “Do you believe that life can start within nonliving matter or that a dead person person can come to life again?”
  • “Did the universe come from from nothing?”
  • “Is there anything in the universe that does not have a beginning? Must the universe have a beginning if everything of the universe has a beginning”
  • “What is the point of living if this world is all there is?”
  • “Is there anything more complex than human design? Is biology more complex than human design?”
  • “Where did life come and its genetic information?”
  • “Can God do miracles and create the universe and scientific laws?”
  • “Does science presuppose logic and mathematics?”
  • “Can science alone produce virtuous motives or affirm moral absolutes?”

C) Biblical Skepticism

  • “The Bible was written by men.”
  • “The Bible was written by bronze-age goat herders.”

Response:

  • “Is it honest to interpret a book to reject it?”
  • “Are the Bible writers guilty until proven innocent?”
  • “What is the most reasonable cause of the experiences of Jesus resurrected from the dead that made the first converts?”
  • “How do you explain the spread of Jesus’s resurrection that started the church and transformed so many lives for the better?”
  • “Why has the Bible influenced so many people for good more than any other book?”
  • “Do historians believe that Jesus and his believers like Peter, John, James, and Paul existed? What did they profess?”
  • “What do you do with historical witnesses of Jesus’s identity embedded in the Christian Scriptures?”

D) Consequential Skepticism

  • “Basically, good people go to heaven.”
  • “This is all there is to life.”

Response:

  • “Do you believe in justice for wicked people?”
  • “Can God give grace to the faithful instead of the good?”
  • “If good people go to heaven, then who needs Jesus?”
  • “Is anyone perfectly good and without any guilt? Can anyone eternally bless oneself?”
  • “Will the guilty enter paradise without God’s forgiveness?”
  • “How do you know what are the limits of receiving eternal life?”

E) Follow up questions.

  • Follow these questions with, “Why?” and “I hear you saying…”.
  • Reflect the consequences of where you see their beliefs leading.

Conclusion

If someone desires to know that Jesus’ teachings are from God, then let them seek God’s Will and then he will know. See, Jesus said,

My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he will know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. (John 7:16–18)