Quick Shot: “Truth cannot be known with any certainty”

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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, “You can’t be certain about Christianity because truth cannot be known with any certainty.”

Response #1:
“Are you sure? Are you confident about that statement related to truth? It sounds like you have certainty. But if truth cannot be known with any certainty, then you can’t have certainty that truth can’t be known with certainty. Do you see the problem? As it turns out, all of us are certain about something, even if it’s just that you can’t be certain. But that claim, in and of itself, is self-refuting. It’s important that all of us determine which truth claims what we should trust or distrust. But to claim that nothing can be known or trusted is contradictory and impossible to live out effectively. Can you see why this sort of claim cannot be sustained?”

If truth cannot be known with any certainty, then you can’t have certainty that truth can’t be known with certainty. Do you see the problem? Click To Tweet

OR

Response #2:
“What do you mean by certainty? Do you mean “beyond a possible doubt”? If that’s the standard, we would be paralyzed by fear and indecision. Will my car explode when I turn the key today? I can’t be sure beyond a possible doubt. Will my next restaurant meal result in food poisoning? Again, I can’t be certain beyond a possible doubt. We can’t (and don’t) live by that standard, because, if we did, we wouldn’t want to leave our homes. Instead we live by a lower standard known as “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is also the standard we apply to the most serious criminal trials. If it’s good enough to use in those trials, it’s also good enough for us to use in our daily lives. Do you honestly think truth can’t be known beyond a reasonable doubt? Have you ever applied this standard to the case for God’s existence or the truth of Christianity?”

We can’t live by a 'beyond a possible doubt' standard, because, if we did, we wouldn’t want to leave our homes. Click To Tweet

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 strategies to help you teach Christian worldview to the next generation, please read So the Next Generation Will Know: Training Young Christians in a Challenging World. This book teaches parents, youth pastors and Christian educators practical, accessible strategies and principles they can employ to teach the youngest Christians the truth of Christianity. The book is accompanied by an eight-session So the Next Generation Will Know 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 ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

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