Misconceptions About Christianity and My Response

by Josh McDowell

The Bible has a great deal to say about hope. In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter writes “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

Peter assumes that inquiries will come, not because unbelievers are curious about why we’re Christians, but because they sense a quality about our lifestyle. The question is, “What is the reason for your optimism? How can you be so certain about life?”

We answer with a positive declaration of why we trust Christ. Be hopeful. This is how faith and hope relate. We have hope because of our faith in Christ  who always keeps His Word.

When I submit myself to Christ’s control and lordship, I place my confidence in His ability to manage the affairs of my life. And that brings hope! I now have an assured expectation that Jesus will fulfill His plan for me. The deeper my relationship with Jesus, the greater my hope. As I come to know Him better, I get a clearer view of His qualities and qualifications. Remember, having hope depends upon the qualities of the person I trust.

There are five misconceptions that keep us from truly knowing God in an intimate way. The first is that Christianity is a system of beliefs, another religion with no intimate connection with Jesus. The truth is, He is my Lord, my Shepherd. Because of His God-nature, His loving sacrifice for me, I follow Him.

Secondly, many people believe that Christianity is a subjective faith. They do not understand how powerful and holy God is, and that right standing with God is based upon their own feelings and perceptions. The truth is, nothing can change our standing with God when we know Christ. He is the One who gave us righteousness, the approval of God the Father. I come to God through Jesus, and I never have to doubt God’s love for me again.

Third, many non-Christians believe that Christianity is a “blind faith.” Just like Alice in Wonderland claimed, “I try to believe several impossible things every day.” Our faith is not a stab in the dark. God’s universal truths never change. Jesus Himself is the logos, the embodiment of all of God’s nature and ways. Therefore, I can trust His will and can freely obey Him.

Fourth, those who challenge Christianity say that the Christian faith has no historical basis. In my book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, I relate the innumerable ways Christ and His work is validated through history. So I can trust His wisdom and perceive all of life through Him. 

Finally, many critics say that Christianity is a set of convoluted ideas that do not make sense and cannot be proven. The facts and truths of history, science and personal experience substantiate the validity of the Christian faith. Jesus is my ultimate resource. In reality, my intimate walk with God and the indwelling Holy Spirit also testify of His reality.

My response to all these misconceptions is that complete surrender to Jesus allows me to live a satisfying, abundant life with an absolute assurance of an eternal home with Christ.

No fear. Just faith. Hope in Him. The world will want to know this Jesus whom you love!

Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict Growth Guide, pp. 12-15.

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