The 5 questions Christians want answered on hell, the Bible and other religions
Following an online poll, Justin Brierley lays out the top 5 objections to faith that Christians want answers to
This year’s Unbelievable? Conference 2018 theme is #JustAsk. Across 15 seminar and plenary sessions the speakers will be helping attendees to respond to lots of tough objections to faith.
This year we polled the Unbelievable? audience, asking which questions they would most like answered in the “5 Hard Questions” seminar that will be led by Andy Bannister and Glen Scrivener. These are the 5 most popular questions you voted for:
1. How can a loving God send people to hell?
Perhaps it’s no surprise that people want answers on this topic. The nature of hell has been the subject of much debate in the church recently and has featured in several documentaries.
Church leader Rob Bell caused controversy in 2011 when his book Love Wins appeared to support a universalist view that everyone will be saved. Bell came on Unbelievable? in 2011 to debate the issue in one of our most popular ever shows. Meanwhile many evangelicals have been persuaded by the ‘annihilationist’ view of hell, another subject which has been debated several times on Unbelievable?
2. If God is good why does he command violence in the Old Testament?
Mention that you’re a Christian in an online atheist chat room, and sooner or later this question will come up. The warfare and violence apparently commanded in the Old Testament can leave both believers and sceptics scratching their heads. How do we make sense of these passages in light of the God of love revealed in Jesus Christ?
Theologians Greg Boyd and Paul Copan recently debated the issue in two editions of the Unbelievable? show. Andy Bannister and Glen Scrivener will help guide Christians on the topic at Saturday’s conference.
3. Why doesn’t God just show everyone that he exists?
It’s kind of an obvious question isn’t it? If God is there, and wants people to believe in him, then why doesn’t he just make it undeniably obvious that he exists? The so-called “hiddenness” of God is a question that has also been tackled on Unbelievable?
But what if making people simply believe in him isn’t God’s main priority? After all where does that leave love, trust and a genuine choice?
4. How can I trust scripture when it’s full of errors, myths and contradictions?
This is an old chestnut isn’t it? Of course, there’s a huge assumption in the question… what if the Bible isn’t in fact full of errors, myths and contradictions (even though we are frequently told that by certain sceptical voices)?
The question of how to properly understand and reconcile various aspects of scripture has frequently been tackled on the Unbelievable? show, from debates about the differences in the Gospels, to discussions on the Old Testament, and the historicity of the resurrection.
5. If Christianity is true, why are there so many religions?
So you’ve told them what you believe, you’ve given them evidence for Jesus, you’ve explained why Christianity makes sense... and then thy ask, ‘But how do you know you’ve got hold of the right religion? And aren’t they all saying the same thing anyway?’
Maybe you’ve been there. It’s another frequent question and one that will be tackled in depth at Unbelievable? 2018 by Ken Samples in his seminar titled “If Krishna and Buddha met Christ...”.
But you’ll hear how Andy Bannister and Glen Scrivener respond to all of these questions and more at this year’s Unbelievable? Conference, along with 8 other brilliant speakers and lots more topics.
Want to be there? There’s still time to book your place for the Conference on Sat 19 May.
# How to create better conversations
# Jesus for sinners, saints and sceptics
# Why science can’t explain everything
# Gay cakes, abortion & freedom of religion
# The real questions our teenagers are asking
Check back for the full conference schedule soon
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We were delighted to welcome a range of exhibitors with a host of resources at Unbelievable? The Conference 2019 on 20th July.
We also appreciate support from Church Housing Trust.