Bad arguments for Christianity

C. Michael Patton at Parchment and Pen has 14 Examples of Really Bad Apologetics.

There are many good arguments (apologetics) for the truthfulness of Christianity:

  • Historical evidence for the resurrection
  • Historical evidence for the reliability of Scriptures
  • Philosophical arguments for the existence of God, such as the cosmological argument

Some of the bad arguments for Christianity listed by Patton are:

  • “I believe Christianity is true because I read this book where someone died, went to heaven, and came back.”
  • “I believe Christianity is true because there are secret codes found in the Scriptures.”
  • “I believe Christianity is true because I heard that this guy’s pancake was miraculously in the shape of Jesus.”
  • “I believe Christianity is true because God spoke to me and told me ______”

I would add a few to the list of bad arguments, such as:

  • Much of what comes out of the end-times industry. I stopped reading this stuff after reading 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could Be in 1988. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I haven’t even cracked the cover of the Left Behind books. Every few years, the arguments have to be changed because the predictions just don’t come true. (I write this as a premillenialist).
  • Most of what comes out of the young-Earth creationism movement. I view much of this as unnecessary Biblically, not essential for a proper understanding of sin and salvation, and an unfortunate barrier to faith for many, especially scientists. (There are also some bad arguments that I’ve seen come out of the old-Earth/ID movement, but not nearly as many).
  • Much of what comes out of the “Biblical archeology” movement.

People can come to genuine and lasting faith in Christ through bad arguments. But many are turned away needlessly by bad arguments as well, and we cannot have a pragmatic “the end justifies the means” approach.

Ultimately, faith is a work of God. I cannot claim to have come to faith in Christ by my own wisdom. Theologically, I know that if I have faith in Christ, it is a work of God. But God does use sound arguments as part of drawing people to himself.

HT: Tough Questions Answered

Grace and Peace

3 thoughts on “Bad arguments for Christianity

  1. Kevin,

    I am enjoying visiting your blog. I love Google Earth!, and you find some interesting things that I have never noticed.

    Thank you for your comment on my blog. I see from your profile that we differ in opinions of the age of the Earth. I also see that you have a heap of education that I do not have! I will stop by again.



  2. are you sure

    Us rational beings consider Faith a bad idea. How can you be so sure that your Faith is what you say it is and not just your emotional mind making irrational judgments to overcome your fears of death, loss of loved ones, higher purpose, etc. Here’s an alternate hypothesis for you. Supposedly, god made us in his own image. We are rational beings where we use our intellect to find the truth in the world around us. Further, god created a rational world governed by laws of nature that, given enough time and effort, can be understood by us. Given that, I would argue that such a god would be appalled by us choosing Faith over reason.


  3. WebMonk

    I’m not disagreeing, “are you sure”, just offering an additional though.

    It doesn’t make sense to fundamentally base things on the premise of “How do you know your X really isn’t just Y”. That’s the impossibility of proving a negative – you can’t do it.

    No one can prove that Faith isn’t just some unknown physical effect. We could maybe rule out certain physical effects as causing faith, but we can’t categorically say it isn’t some unknown, purely physical force.

    But, on the flip side, ultimately everyone has to take on faith certain things. Just as an extreme example, I have to take on faith that everything I know and experience isn’t just an illusion. It’s impossible to fundamentally prove it isn’t an illusion, so I have to take it on faith.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s