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: “I don’t need an imaginary God to forgive me of my ‘sins’. There is no such thing as sin.”
“The Old and New Testament concepts of sin are derived from Greek and Hebrew words that describe ‘missing the mark’ or ‘missing the center of a target’ (as in spear-throwing or archery). In other words, if the goal of the contest is to hit the bulls-eye, any effort that falls short of this goal could be described as a ‘sin’. If there were no bulls-eyes, there could be no misses, right? To say there is no such thing as sin, therefore, is to say there is no such thing as a bulls-eye. Are you willing to do that? Can we really live without the ‘bulls-eyes’ (the moral codes or ethical laws) we use to interact with one another?”
“What do you mean by ‘sin’? Most of us recognize the existence of ‘crimes,’ even if we deny the existence of ‘sins’. How would you define these two terms? For some, ‘crimes’ are violations of human laws, while ‘sins’ are violations of God’s law. Criminals typically act the way they do because they reject the authority of humans (as reflected in our laws). In a similar way, people who deny the existence of ‘sin’ typically do so because they reject the authority of God. To say there is no sin, is the equivalent of saying there is no God. Is that what you’re saying? If God does exist, sin exists (describing acts that reflect our comparatively imperfect nature). Can you tell me why you reject the existence of God?”
“The common definition for sin is ‘an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.’ In other words, a ‘sin’ is an act that offends God. To say, ‘There is no such thing as sin,’ is the equivalent of saying, ‘There is no such thing as God.’ But there are good reasons to believe there is a God, like a fine-tuned universe that came into existence from nothing, the naturally inexplicable origin of life, and the improbable existence of information in DNA. There are good reasons to believe that God exists, and that’s why there is good reason to believe that sin exits. Would you be interested in knowing why I believe in the existence of 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 reliability of the New Testament gospels and the case for Christianity, please read Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Cold-Case Christianity 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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