06.11.17 PM – Jerry Sturgill – Difficult Passages from the Major Prophets
Help My Unbelief
Jesus told the father who came to him wanting his son to be cured, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23). To this the father replied in tears, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). There is a part in each of us which believes and there is a part which doubts. Christians often have questions or doubts that challenge their faith. The good news is there are good answers to our questions. There is solid, adequate evidence for the existence of God, the deity of Christ, and the inspiration of the Bible. But we must devote time to weigh the evidence; only by asking our hard questions and exploring the answers can our faith be fortified. A person who never tests the validity of Christianity cannot really be helped out of unbelief. We cannot simply ignore our doubts and deny that we have any. We are commanded to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
The skeptic will rarely admit it, but he actually holds beliefs that cannot be proven. Often skeptics say, “There is no absolute truth,” which is itself an absolute statement. How can they be absolutely sure of it and be consistent? A skeptic may try to reduce the Christian’s beliefs to their cultural and historical condition, saying, “Well, if you were born to different parents who were Muslims in Saudi Arabia, you would believe in Islam.” But what about the skeptic? If he were born to Muslims in Saudi Arabia would he believe Islam? You see, even his skepticism does not stand on an island apart from the historical and cultural condition in which he lives. Skepticism flourishes at certain times and in certain cultures as well because people can be influenced into skepticism. The skeptic can’t make an exception for himself and say, all beliefs about religion are conditioned by history and culture except for the belief I am stating right now. Or if he says, “no religion can have an exclusive claim to truth; it is arrogant for any religion to claim to have the whole truth of spiritual reality,” then he himself has made an assertion that he says cannot be made. How could the skeptic possibly know that no religion can have the whole truth unless he had such superior, all-inclusive knowledge that he claims no religions can have? In short, the skeptic ought to be fair enough to admit his own doubts. He must be willing to consider if he is wrong in his skepticism.
This week we will be examining the evidence that gives us assurance in an age of skepticism. Dr. David Lipe will be with us to help us think critically about these vitally important subjects that undergird the Christian faith. Brother Lipe has spent his life studying these subjects and asking hard questions. Whether you have faith, doubts, or some of both, you will be benefited by coming to these lessons. Will you come?