Why Christians Need to Stop Treating Their Faith Like a Matter of Opinion

By J. Warner Wallace Published on February 3, 2018

Cheryl Webber from 100 Huntley Street interviews J. Warner Wallace and discusses the important distinction between subjective and objective truth claims. Is Christianity objectively true? If so, what is the danger in treating it like it is just a matter of opinion? View the entire episode and other great video interviews at the 100 Huntley Street episode page.

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  • Paul

    I’m reminded of the article series on unity in the church. Where does objectivity vs opinion enter that fray?

  • Kevin Quillen

    Just whose opinion should one believe? So many choices. therein lies the problem. Rejection of organized/institutional religion(churchianity), and 30+ years of independent study has suited me just fine.

    • GPS Daddy

      There is only one opinion that matters… Jesus. But then he throws it back at us by being the Head of the Church. Meeting together with other believers is paramount if you follow Christ. If you obey Jesus in this then you will consistently meet with others. If the Holy Spirit is involved then your group will grow just like they did in Acts. Then you will have the problem of organization. Once you get organized you then end up being an organized religion.

      The real issue that organized church’s face is that they become lazy, let sin in, and the Holy Spirit then “leaves” the “building.”

      • Kevin Quillen

        serious question; where does Jesus tell us to go to church, I assume this is what you mean by “meeting with others”?

        • GPS Daddy

          Really Kevin, your going to play that kind of a game?
          Here is a starter reading list for you:
          Hebrews 10
          Mark 9
          John 6
          Romans 12 & 15
          1 Cor 11
          Galatians 5
          Ephesians 4
          Col 3
          James 4 and 5

          • Ken Abbott

            Add 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 to that excellent list. How does any part of the body tell the rest he doesn’t need them and can operate independently? Paul says explicitly he can’t.

          • GPS Daddy

            Excellent… To think you do not need to be a part of the body of Christ (ie – the church) is to totally miss the gospel.

          • Kevin Quillen

            the Gospel is the great news that the Father loves ALL His children, and through a relationship with Him through Christ I have peace in this life. I live in Eden. By living my life in His will, I am an example to others and they are drawn to Him as I witness of His love. No “church” necessary, we believers are the “Church”. The New Jerusalem, the City of God.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>No “church” necessary

            Do you meet with a group of other Christians on a regular basis to worship, support, confront, challenge, confess, etc..? Or, are you a loner Christian?

          • Kevin Quillen

            wife and I are Christians who represent Christ by the way we live to all we meet and know. No “church” or group.

          • GPS Daddy

            You and your wife are one in God’s eye so no church there. You need to repent and return to church. It does not need to be a group with a name it just needs to be a group of other Christians.

          • Kevin Quillen

            You really believe I need to repent? People are the church! A building means nothing. I probably reach more people living my daily life simply by talking to them about God’s wonderful creation and His goodness than most involved in Churchianity. The division caused by mans interpretation and the many varieties of Christianity keeps people from seeing Jesus. I plant the seed about God’s great love and then it is up to the Holy Spirit to draw them to Jesus. I have no need to speak of denominations or doctrines.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>A building means nothing

            You think I’ve been talking about a building this whole time? You really think I’m telling you to go to a building when I say you need to get back to church? Of course a building means nothing. But in your response to me saying you need to be in a group you responded with:

            “wife and I are Christians who represent Christ by the way we live to all we meet and know. No “church” or group.”

            That tells me that you have hard heart in regards to groups of Christians. This means you need to repent.

            You claim that “The division caused by mans interpretation and the many varieties of Christianity keeps people from seeing Jesus”. Yet, what you do not see is your the pot calling the kettle black. You have some very strong opinions of the bible that are not quite valid. Yet, you stand in judgement of the “church” group by not being willing to be in any group. So, yes, you need to repent.

            >> I have no need to speak of denominations or doctrines

            I have never said you need to be a part of a denomination. As far as doctrine, you got them. Just like the rest of us.

          • Kevin Quillen

            I think the point being made here is that we do not have to all be the same. My personality and lifestyle does not have to agree with yours. All that is necessary is that I live as an ambassador for Christ and love others as He did. While organized Christianity certainly does tell of Christ it does more. It misleads many into believing that tithing is for today, that speaking in tongues is for today, and that church attendance is mandatory. So, while Christ is taught, much foolishness taught also, rapture, millennium, earth burning up, and a SOON second coming of Christ. All this is wrong and actually causes harm to the body of Christ and to credibility of Christ. C.S. Lewis said that Matt 24:34 was the saddest verse in the bible because Jesus was wrong. He wasn’t, He came back just as and when He said He would. Preterism is true. It harmonizes scripture without twisting and ignoring some. Dispensationalism is man made foolishness and the concept of an eternal punishment in hell was made up by man to control people. Not hard to research it and see the truth.

          • Ken Abbott

            Precisely–unity in diversity. One body (the head of which is Christ), many members. The various members of the body have their own functions, their own gifts, their own contributions to the whole. But none of them functions properly in isolation. The fellowship of likeminded believers is critical to the working out of the gospel in the lives of men and women and for being a godly witness to the world.

          • Kevin Quillen

            are you seriously suggesting that I cannot be a Godly witness to the world if I do not attend a church?
            That my friend is the definition of “Churchianity”.

          • Ken Abbott

            No, my friend, that is the definition of a Christian living in submission to Christ as Lord and obedience to his word.

          • Kevin Quillen

            just as I thought, cannot do so specifically. Care to try again?
            Heb 10:25 is the most common verse used, but until one knows what “the Day” means it is improper to use. Once one discovers what “the Day approaching” really means will the verse make sense. Hint; it is not for us.

  • John Doane

    Maintaining that Christianity is objectively true is very important. When we allow discussions to be framed as “reason vs faith” or “science vs religion,” we reinforce the idea that Christianity is only subjective.

    Discussions framed as “science vs religion” are particularly unfortunate when dealing with origins. One remedy is to look at Genesis, especially the Flood account, in forensic science terms in a way similar to looking at the Gospels in forensic terms. Just as in a court trial, however, it must be understood that neither the advocates nor the so-called expert witnesses are objective. The underlying conflict is not “science vs religion,” but rather a kind of pantheism vs Biblical Christianity. This pantheism holds that: 1) there is no supernatural Creator outside of nature; and 2) meaning can be found in aligning with the principle behind nature, which is perceived to be evolutionary progress. Our opposition holds to their pantheism with an intense religious commitment. Genesis is objectively true, and the conflict is inherently a spiritual one.

  • Trilemma

    With so many different versions, Christianity cannot be objectively true. With so many theories, science cannot be objectively true either.

    • Ken Abbott

      So Christianity instead is objectively untrue? Subjectively true? Are we stuck in a hopeless epistemological morass?

      • Trilemma

        Yes, we are stuck in an epistemological morass. That’s why there are thousands of Christian denominations and so much disagreement between theologians.

        • Ken Abbott

          What are the points of difference that have produced those “thousands of Christian denominations,” and why do theologians disagree?

          • Trilemma

            For any doctrine, Christians disagree. Some believe God is Tribune, some don’t. Some believe in Hell, some don’t. Some believe baptism is necessary for salvation, some don’t. And so on.

          • Ken Abbott

            You overstate the extent of such disagreements. Your definition of “Christian” seems to be sufficiently elastic to cover all issues, including those historically decided to be heretical and not Christian at all. Look to the doctrinal content of the ecumenical creeds. The matters affirmed (and either explicitly or implicitly denied) by the Apostles and Niceo-Constantipolitan Creeds and the Definition of Chalcedon are non-negotiable and form a boundary that neatly delineates Christian belief from non-Christian positions. The Christian faith has a definable content. The core doctrines are not up for debate freshly every new generation, and they are not a matter of individual taste. Christianity is not some wax nose that may be molded to suit a person’s preferences.

          • Kevin Quillen

            “creeds are non-negotiable” Wow, just wow.
            So the creeds were Holy Spirit inspired?

          • Ken Abbott

            To the extent they reflect the witness of Scripture, the ecumenical creeds demonstrate the superintendence of the Holy Spirit. If you can improve upon them, please do so.

          • Trilemma

            Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Latter Day Saints, Oneness Pentecostals, etc. are all Christians. You are trying to define a Christian in terms of yourself by saying people who believe as you do are Christians and people who don’t believe as you do are not Christians.

          • Ken Abbott

            Jehovah’s Witnesses/The Watchtower, the Mormon Church, and Oneness Pentecostalism are all gravely mistaken in their Christology and by historical definition fall outside of Christianity. That there may be confused Christians within their ranks is up for discussion. As to official Roman Catholicism, the church has faithfully upheld many core orthodox doctrines but anathematized the biblical gospel at the time of the Council of Trent and may be considered an apostate church. These are not my own definitions, Trilemma. As I wrote above, the Christian faith has a defined content. People are not allowed to slap a “Christian” label on themselves while propagating their divergent beliefs and expect not to be challenged.

    • Ken Abbott

      Trilemma, is it objectively true–meaning that it actually happened in real time and space, a true historical event–that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead on the third day as he said he would?

      • Trilemma

        It is objectively true for me that I got out of bed this morning but my getting out of bed this morning could only be subjectively true for you. In the same way, Jesus rising from the dead would be objectively true for Jesus but subjectively true for everyone else.

        • Ken Abbott

          What if I personally witnessed you getting out of bed this morning? Or what if I had the testimony of an unimpeachable witness (your spouse, for example) that you got out of bed this morning? Would those circumstances not suffice to impart objective knowledge of the truth to me?

          Take it another step. If I was told by an unimpeachable authority in a position to know the full reality of the situation that such and such is true, and that the word of this authority was just as good–better, in fact–than my seeing it for myself, would that not suffice to convey objective truth to me?

          • Trilemma

            If my wife personally witnessed me getting out of bed then it would be objectively true for her. If she told you about it then it would be subjectively true for you. There is no such thing as an unimpeachable witness.

        • Ken Abbott

          Oh, I see–the light finally dawns! Trilemma, I’m so glad we agree that Christianity is objectively true!

          • Trilemma

            Nobody witnessed Jesus rising from the dead or leaving the tomb. That means Christianity cannot be objectively true.

          • Ken Abbott

            Yes, Trilemma, it’s okay. You don’t have to keep telling me we agree that Christianity is objectively true.

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