In 2012 Carl Beech, Andy Kind, and I got together in a room in Chesterfield to talk about how we could help with the tough questions that are asked both of ourselves and of our faith. Carl – as the then head of Christian Vision for Men (CVM) – wanted to reach the men of the UK with the good news of Jesus. Andy – the comedian and storyteller – wanted to blend his comedy with his apologetics passion. I – fresh out of my training with The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics – was eager to get stuck in where there was a need. And this is how the Demolition Squad was born.
Now three years in, with articles written, podcasts attempted, and conferences attended we’ve pulled together some of best content and blended it with a fresh, funny (thank you, Andy) voice in one book: The Ultimate Survival Guide: How to talk about God, the Bible, and stuff.
25+ Common Objections Covered
Talk about Jesus anywhere and you will inevitable face questions in response. This is as true in the UK as in other countries. However each culture will frame questions in a particular way and with a particular emphasis. The challenge that Carl, Andy, and I faced was how to answer the questions being asked from men in the UK. Not this narrows the scope of book to too fine a spectrum, the book is still broader than something aimed at bird watching enthusiasts from Hull, for example.
Over the first three years we employed different tactics and approaches, and having distilled all our thinking, writing, and speaking we came up with three areas of questions tackle in the book: Scientific and Logical Objections, Personal and Emotional Objections, and Biblical Objections.
Scientific and Logical Objections
From ‘There’s no such thing as absolute truth’ to ‘Science has replaced God’, the challenges come thick and fast in this category. We’ve focussed on 8 challenges:
- There’s no such thing as truth
- There’s no proof for God
- Science has disproved God
- The Universe is just there/has always existed
- Who created the Creator?
- We evolved out of chaos
- So many different religions…they can’t all be right!
- What about people who haven’t heard about Jesus?
Personal and Emotional Objections
Because man is not a purely rational being, many objections to faith will take a more personal tone. From ‘Is it a weakness to need to believe in God?’ to questioning the good and bad that religion – and Christians – have done, there are many responses to tackle here. We again chose 8 questions to focus in on:
- Christianity is intolerant
- Christians are hypocrites
- All religion is brainwashing
- Look at all the harm that religion has done
- It’s just wishful thinking
- You don’t have to believe in God to be a good person
- A God of Love wouldn’t send (good) people to Hell
- But Stephen Fry said it
The Bible is hugely important to our faith. Christians read it, believe it, and base their lives on what it says. So can we trust it? Sink the Bible, and you sink Jesus. But if the Bible can sustain its claims of divine inspiration & authority then Jesus is real, what happened 2,000 years ago really took place, and we have some thinking to do! We provide answers to 9 questions in this section:
- All religions basically teach the same thing
- Jesus wasn’t a historical figure, but was based on pagan myths
- The Bible has been doctored and corrupted
- Jesus didn’t think of himself as divine
- I believe Jesus was a just good moral teacher
- The Bible is irrelevant, outdated and outmoded
- God is a moral monster
- Jesus didn’t rise from the dead
- Why did God kill his own son
Oh, and the Problem of Suffering, too …
This one is a biggy, so we added an extended section at the end of the book dedicating more time to unpacking this particular challenge and explore some of the hopeful replies that Jesus offers in response. Read an extract from this section on the CVM blog.