Defeater Beliefs to Christianity

I’ve been thinking a bit about the fact that within every culture there is a set of defeater beliefs (as Tim Keller calls it) that shape the culture and its receptivity to the gospel. A “defeater belief” is any belief A, that if true, rules out/defeats the truth of some other belief B. Each culture has a set of defeater beliefs for Christianity, and if we don’t engage those, Christianity will not get a hearing (or a fair hearing). So, what are those defeater beliefs in Western Culture? Keller lists 7 (the first part of his book The Reason for God ); I think it boils down to (more or less) these four:

 #1 The God of the Old Testament is a Moral Monster.

#2 The problem of pain and hell is incompatible with a worship worthy God.

#3 Miracles are impossible, irrational, or just plain unnecessary.

#4 There is no one true religion.

I leave it as an exercise for you to see how, if any of #1-#4 are true, the belief that “Christianity is true” is defeated (that is, false). Over the next few weeks, I’ll pick up each of these defeater beliefs to Christianity and show how they are only apparent (and not actual) defeaters.

For now, post a comment: what are some other potential defeater beliefs to Christianity that you think are prevalent in Western Culture?

6 Responses to Defeater Beliefs to Christianity

  1. Greg West says:

    This sounds like a great series. Paul. I deal with all of these objections on a regular basis so am looking foward to reading it!

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