John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Dealing With Doubt

I've had a lot of really kind feedback from people who saw me on the Coral Ridge Hour last weekend. If you didn't get to see the broadcast, you can watch my segment online here. I've gotten email from people all across the country, and I had a few folks show up at church Sunday because they saw the show and realized they live close to The Bridge -- one was even an old friend from high school. All of this has me thinking about the topic we dealt with on the show -- "The New Atheism". In the past, there have been people who did not believe in God, but things have recently changed in the way the conversation is discussed. There is a new group of atheists who behave more like fundamentalists than scientists. Their goal seems to be more than just proving or disproving a particular point of view. Their objective seems more bent on ridiculing those who disagree with them. They attack Christians with a level of vitriol that's startling.

What's even more startling is how few Christians feel equipped to handle this level of criticism -- or even have a conversation on why we believe what we believe. I got an email this week from someone whose adult children (who were raised in a Christian, church-going home) have asked her to explain why she trusts the Bible. She asked me if I could recommend some good reading for her to forward on to her children.

I'm glad to do this, but I wonder why churches and parents have failed to equip our children with a basic understanding of apologetics. Further, I'm wondering what we could do about it.

Obviously, I feel strongly about this. Dr. Ken Boa and I wrote a book about how parents can help their children gain a Christian view of the world. We've just finished a study guide for small groups to use (if you're interested, leave me a comment or shoot me an email). I've conducted seminars based on the material in the book all across the country (ditto). I'm doing a three-part sermon series at The Bridge starting on Oct. 28.

But I'm thinking about doing something a little different. I'm thinking about putting together a seminar that tackles the hard questions being asked by guys like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens head-on. If I were to put together such a thing, I have a few thoughts that you may be able to help me with.

First, do you think such a thing is necessary? Should a church invest in this kind of thing?

Second, would your church or group be interested in hosting such an event? It might be good for a retreat setting or a Saturday/Sunday weekend.

Third, what are the questions you'd like to see addressed?