Secondhand skepticism

A co-worker tonight told me that I should talk to someone else. They’ve gone off to college and now are saying things like “The Bible was written by men after the times and is full of errors.” Many of us in apologetics have seen these kinds of arguments before. We know they don’t work and we know they’re flimsy.

We know that you can show that the ancients did place great emphasis on memorization. We know that you can show that we have a high number of manuscripts by which we can cross-reference to be sure the text we have today is what was written.  We can use archaeology to show that the text is reliable in what it says. We can finally use philosophy to show that the arguments against miracles are fallacious.

Now my friend comes to me though saying “But it is fact that there are plenty of errors in the Bible.” Friends. When someone says something like this to you, there’s always one question you should ask immediately. Phrase it however you want but the terminology is the same. “Name one.”

It’s amazing how many people will be caught off guard by this. If, however, they do name one, then you really do give an answer. If you have to, be able to say, “That’s a good question and I haven’t encountered that one before. Please let me spend a few days looking at it and I’ll get back to you.”

Why do I call this secondhand skepticism though? Because these are sayings that have become commonplace in the marketplace of ideas and they’re usually spread by people who haven’t searched themselves and are merely going by what some college professor told them.

The danger is that these are often Christians who take a beating because they weren’t prepared, when answering questions like this isn’t difficult. However, we are not preparing them. Yes friends. It is largely our fault. We send children through Sunday School but we keep them at the level they start at. They are NOT ready to face an atheistic professor in college if all they have is their feelings and a testimony.

Like smoke, this stuff is inhaled easily and spreads just as easily. It’s a cancer that we can prevent though. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We can start now in training our young people how to answer these arguments. The anti-smoking ads keep telling us about truth. We can learn from that. It’s time we taught our young people the truth so they won’t get caught by secondhand skepticism.

Instead, maybe they can smoke their professors.

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