Answering Objections to the Christian Faith
written by Dr Buddy Young ©2001 West Texas A&M University’s Baptist Student Ministries revised 2017
Reasons for the Objections
When considering a response to an objection raised by a non-Christian, it is essential to determine the reason for the objection. There are two primary reason for opposition to the Christian message. They are:
A Lack of Evidence
A Personal Experience
Knowing the reason for a non-believers objections will help the Christian to give an adequate response to their argument.
How to Respond to Objections
There are four things that you must do in responding to objections:
- Discover their Reason
- Discuss their Position
- Determine their Objection
- Dialogue about the Truth
You can ascertain these four things through a series of questions that you ask yourself and the non-believer.
- Questions you ask yourself:
To discover the reason you would ask yourself,
Why do they believe this way?
To discuss their position you would ask yourself,
What exactly do they believe?
To determine their objection you would ask yourself,
Where is the error in their belief?
To dialogue about the truth you would ask yourself,
What Biblical truth needs to be communicated to them?
- Questions you would ask the non-believer:
To discover the reason you would ask,
What brought you to this conclusion, a lack of evidence or a personal experience or both?
To discuss their position you would ask,
Could you briefly summarize what you believe on this topic?
To determine their objection you would say
So you would say that you believe, (and then repeat back to them their opposing view).
To dialogue about the truth you would ask,
Would you say that in coming to this conclusion that there could be some information that you were unaware of or overlooked? Can I share with you some insight that I have discovered related to this issue?
Discover the Reason
When someone raises an objection while going through the Satisfaction Model or Jesus Challenge Method, you need to stop going through the questions and ask:
What brought you to this conclusion, a lack of evidence
or a personal experience or both?
Response to an experience or both answer:
If they answer experience or both, then you would ask,
Can you share how the experience caused you to believe this way?
LISTEN to what they say as you listen ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment on the direction to go. Then say,
Everyone’s beliefs shape who they are and what they believe,
but have searched to see if there is an evidence to justify your feelings?
If Yes ask,
Can you share with me what you have discovered?
If no ask,
Can I share some evidence that I have discovered that has helped in
understanding some things about this issue?
Response to an evidence answer:
If they answer evidence, then ask:
I would be interested in knowing the evidence that you have on this issue,
could you share it with me ?
Discover their position
LISTEN as they share the evidence of their beliefs, and make mental notes.
It might be helpful to restate what they have said to you, to insure that you are hearing them correctly. You could say:
So, you believe that ______ (and fill in what they have said)?
It is vital at this point that you do not try to tell them what you believe, or discredit what they are saying, but merely affirm that you understand what they believe.
Determine their objection
When they have finished explaining what they believe then you can say:
Let me see if I can summarize what you are saying
( then repeat what you think they have told you)
Once you have determined their objection, then you can attempt to mentally place the objection in one of the categories of answers that you have learned.
Dialogue about the truth
Now that you have listened and you have affirmed their basic objection, you can attempt to answer them. You could ask:
Would you say that in coming to this conclusion that there could be some
information that you were unaware of or overlooked? Can I share with you
some insight that I have discovered related to this issue?
Then proceed to give the Biblical answer to the question. In your discussion never use the term “I believe”. I doing this you are simply moving into a relativistic subjective argument,
rather than an objective discussion of the truth. Let the truth speak, not you opinion.
To discover some suggested answers to key questions go to the www.carm.org