Our “Quick Shot” series offers brief answers to common objections to the Christian worldview. Each response is limited to one paragraph. These responses are designed to (1) answer the objection as concisely as possible, (2) challenge the objector to think more deeply about his or her claim, and (3) facilitate a “gospel” conversation. In this article, we’re offering “Quick Shot” responses to the objection, Quick Shot: “Being a good person is all that really matters.”
“Are you a good person? If you think the answer is ‘yes,’ what standard of ‘goodness’ are you using? Everyone thinks they are good by their own standard. Hitler thought he was good. When you say ‘Being a good person is all that really matters,’ you necessitate the existence of a true, objective standard for ‘good’; a standard that transcends personal opinion and cultural consensus (like, for example, the standard that was held by the German regime that executed millions of Jews). So, if being ‘good’ is all that matters, you’re going to need to use God as your standard. Can you see why this claim doesn’t eliminate the necessity for God, but actually requires Him?”
“Are you a good person? Have you ever lied? Have you ever taken something that wasn’t yours? Have you ever tried to cut corners or cheat on your taxes? Have you ever even thought about such things? I don’t know many people who are arrogant enough to say they’ve never done anything wrong. No one’s thoughts and actions are entirely pure. If being a good person is all that really matters, then you and I don’t matter because we aren’t consistently ‘good.’ Why would anyone think they are ‘good’ in the first place?”
“If there is a God, why would you think ‘good’ is ‘good enough’? If God exists, He is all-powerful; He had the power to create everything in the universe from nothing. A God that powerful has the power to eliminate all imperfection, including moral imperfection. So, if there is a God, He isn’t morally good, He is morally perfect. Now think of your best day. You may have been good, but you weren’t perfect. I’ve never been perfect either. Only one man has ever lived the perfect life: Jesus of Nazareth, and He had an advantage over you and me. He is God incarnate. Why would you think that your ‘goodness’ would impress a morally perfect God?”
Our “Quick Shot” series was written specifically for the Cold-Case Christianity App (you can download it on Apple and Android platforms – be sure to register once you download the App). When confronted with an objection in casual conversation, App users can quickly find an answer without having to scroll beyond the first screen in the category. Use the App “Quick Shots” along with the “Rapid Responses” and Case Making “Cheat Sheets” to become a better Christian Case Maker.
For more information about the nature of Biblical faith and a strategy for communicating the truth of Christianity, please read Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith. This book teaches readers four reasonable, evidential characteristics of Christianity and provides a strategy for sharing Christianity with others. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Forensic Faith DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.
J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.
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