The Great Courses

Ten Questions About God

Sep 19, 2012 at 8:58 AM
5 years ago

As a former Christian, I look back upon my religious days with a genuine fascination.  What governed my thinking?  How did I approach, examine, rationalize and ultimately accept the tenets of Christianity?  How well did I really know my bible?  Was I examining those verses with a rational mind?  Did I practice my faith or merely give it lip service?  How far would I have been willing to go if God had tested me like so many of the characters in scripture? Did I really believe what I believed?

As an experiment, I put together a basic ten-point survey designed for the Christian.  It highlights random yet familiar scriptures and bible stories and asks how the believer would (or wouldn't) apply those "truths" in his/her life. 

The survey isn't deep or complicated.  It's not cleverly worded or tricky.   It represents only a few tiny drops in the ocean of Christian belief.  But as God never changes (Hebrews 13:8) and the scriptures represent his playbook for "doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17)," does/should Yahweh's example and his holy book influence human decisions related to obedience, security and morality?

Consider submitting a few of these queries to the Christian(s) in your own circle to see what kind of responses you get in return.  If nothing else, these points will make for interesting discussion between the atheist and theist community.  -Seth




1)      Is God really all-powerful?  Omnipotent?  Is it true that He can do anything?  If this is the case, why has God not already defeated and destroyed Satan?  Wouldn’t it have made more sense to conquer Satan before Adam and Eve could be tempted in the garden?  Why do you think God is waiting?


2)      If Jesus is God, and if God is omnipotent, why did the redemption of humankind require Christ’s torture and execution?   Why would a God with limitless power not simply forgive man his sin?


3)      You were born with a sin nature.  Do you deserve Hell?  If so, why would God choose an eternal (and agonizing) punishment instead of a finite one?


4)      In Genesis 22, God commanded Abraham to take his son, Isaac, to Moriah and sacrifice him with a knife upon an altar.  Ultimately, God spared Isaac and revealed that this exercise was a test of faith.  However, if God was truly omniscient (all-knowing), would he not have already known the measure of Abraham's faith?  And wouldn't this edict have been traumatizing and cruel for both the parent and the child?


5)      If God commanded you, as he did to Abraham in Genesis 22, to take one of your children and kill him/her upon an altar as a demonstration of your faith and obedience, would you do it?  Can you explain what you might do in that situation?


6)      Matthew 10:29 states that not even a sparrow will fall to the ground apart from God’s will.  If God’s will is already guaranteed to be done, what purpose does prayer have?


7)      Luke 12:7 declares that God is so intimately familiar with you as his child that he has numbered the hairs on your head.   Psalm 121:7 says “The LORD will keep you from all harm--he will watch over your life.”  Do you carry health insurance?  Do you wear a seat belt while driving?  Do you lock your doors at night?  Do you own a firearm, taser or mace?  If any of these apply to you, can you explain why such protective measures are necessary if you are guaranteed God’s omnipotent hand of protection? 


8)      Do you believe that the bible is the perfect, accurate and divinely-inspired Word of God?  As the bible’s authors cannot be verified by sources outside of the bible, how do you know that this is true?


9)      In Matthew 16:28, Jesus declares to his disciples that he will come again quickly.  “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."  Yet the last of the disciples died 2,000 years ago.  Why has Christ not fulfilled his promise?


10)   What state were you born in?  What was the religion of your parents?  Do you feel that these elements contributed to your current religious beliefs?



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