Let’s be prepared to answer this question: Doesn’t the Bible contain inconsistencies?
This is a common accusation, but it’s completely unfounded. Most people who ask this question have no examples. But a few people will bring up things which appear to be contradictions at first glance.
I’ve researched some of the differences in the Gospels, and they simply prove that gospel writers were divinely inspired to share different perspectives of the same story. Differences do not equal contradictions.
If you ask four honest people to explain an event they’ve witnessed, one may mention everyone present and another may only mention the key people. Different witnesses will focus on different aspects of the event. These aren’t inconsistencies, merely different perspectives. And God obviously felt these differences were helpful or He wouldn’t have allowed them in Scripture.
So if someone asks you about a specific “inconsistency” in Scripture, there are lots of resources to help you explain (e.g. Apologetics Press).
But before doing research, find out if their question is sincere. Ask them if they would trust Scripture if you could prove it wasn’t inconsistent.
If they say “no,” don’t waste your time. They are simply being argumentative, and no amount of proof will convince them.
Christians are often “put on the spot” by questions about our faith, and it’s important that we answer graciously but truthfully (Colossians 4:6).
1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
So let’s look at the best way to answer this question people sometimes ask: “How can you say Jesus is the only way? That sounds arrogant and exclusive.”
The Christian response: If it was our idea, it would be arrogant and exclusive. But it’s the teaching of Jesus Himself. In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
But Jesus isn’t “exclusive”—He cares so deeply about each of us that He died a terrible death to make our salvation possible. He offers His salvation to everyone who believes (John 3:16).
When people ask this question, it’s also good to remind them that all religions believe in different gods and different ways to be saved. All of them contradict each other, so either they are all wrong or only one of them is right. And Christians have many reasons to believe Jesus is the only right way of salvation.
Scripture tells us to “always be prepared” to answer questions about our faith (1 Peter 3:15). So let’s consider this question:
“Why push your beliefs on others? Why don’t you keep your beliefs to yourself and let others find their own truth?”
Some people who ask this question aren’t really interested in an answer. They simply want to silence Christians.
But sometimes a person asks this question sincerely, and an answer like the one below can give you opportunities to share more about the gospel:
“If you had the cure for cancer, would you keep it to yourself and watch someone die? I’m sure you wouldn’t. “And since the Bible teaches that all who refuse to follow Christ will be condemned and spend eternity in hell (Romans 8:1-8; Matthew 10:28; Revelation 21:7-8), I would be cruel to keep that information to myself.
“You may not agree with me about the Christian teaching of hell, but surely you see why I feel compelled to share Christ with others.” Part of sharing our faith effectively is being prepared to answer questions like these.
(1) Satan, a fallen angel, was used by God to test Adam and Eve – who were innocent but untested. When tested, they proved to be sinners in need of a Savior. Thus began God’s redemption process. I don’t think any of us fully understand this process of testing and redemption, but we can trust God’s wisdom and knowledge. (2) In Scripture, there is one incident that is credited to both God and Satan which clarifies this point that God uses Satan for His purposes. Read about that situation here: Got Questions.
Scripture says we should “always be prepared” to explain our faith, so let’s consider this question:
“How can you take the Bible literally? For example, it says trees clap their hands in Isaiah 55:12.”
Although Christians often say we take the Bible “literally,” it would be more accurate to say we believe the Bible is God’s Word and is trustworthy, unchanging, accurate, and true.
God’s Word contains historical narrative, poetry, proverbs, songs, parables, and instructions. And because God speaks in ways we can best understand, He sometimes uses figures of speech.
It’s easy to recognize which phrases are figurative, and we don’t take those phrases literally.
Isaiah didn’t believe trees had hands any more than Jesus meant sinners should chop theirs off (Matthew 5:30).
God divinely inspired these figures of speech to give us the most vivid, interesting, and accurate understanding of His truth. His Word is the incredible true story of creation, mankind’s fall, and redemption. We trust every word, but we don’t take every word literally.
P.S. Despite a long-standing rumor, Christians never thought the earth was flat by taking certain verses literally. See Flat Earth Lie.
That means God went against the laws of science when He did them. By their very nature miracles aren’t reproducible unless God Himself wishes to reproduce them.
And miracles are important–if we can’t accept miracles, we can’t accept Christ.
Why? because ” faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). And faith is required for the most important miracle of all: the resurrection of Christ from the dead, without which there would be no salvation (1 Corinthians 15:12-22).
Dear Christians, let’s be prepared to answer this difficult question:
Why doesn’t God stop the terrible evil in our world?
First, let’s put evil in context: Death, decay, sickness, natural disasters, and sin are all results of the fall. Adam’s sin damaged God’s perfect world (Genesis 3).
Second, let’s put evil in perspective: Life involves suffering which is the result of the fall, but life is short compared to eternity (2 Corinthians 4:8-18).
Third, let’s remember how much Christ suffered because of evil: He died on the cross to free us from sin and give us an eternity without suffering and evil (John 3:16; Revelation 21:1-8).
Fourth, let’s admit we don’t have all the answers: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Fifth, let’s remember that God is 100% good: Even if we don’t understand why God allows evil, we know that God didn’t create evil and He hates it more than we do. We can trust Him with our unanswered questions.
Sixth, let’s ask ourselves what we’re doing to stop evil: If we’re honestly concerned about evil, we’ll deal with evil in ourselves by trusting Christ and letting Him transform us (Romans 12:1-2). This won’t answer all of our questions about evil, but it will give us comfort in our suffering so we can help others (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).