Additional Quotes & Resources
Spiritual Sticking Point #1: I Can’t Believe
Viggo Olsen was a brilliant surgeon, and at one time he and his wife, Joan, were skeptics who thought modern science proved that the Bible was based on mythology. As he committed himself to pursuing his questions, he came to the same conclusion that so many others have—the story of Jesus is true, and advances in many areas of science point powerfully and persuasively toward a Creator who looks a lot like the God of the Bible. In his book, The Agnostic Who Dared to Search, Olsen stated that he and his wife took the risk of discovering the truth.
James Tour, head of the Nanoscience Center at Rice University, said, “I build molecules for a living, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.” (Lee Strobel, Sir Lionel Luckhoo, an attorney, was another skeptic who searched for and found truth in God. He was in the Guinness Book of World Records for winning more murder trials than anyone had ever won in history. He was a skeptic, but he took his monumental legal knowledge and applied it to investigating the historical record of Jesus’ resurrection. In his book The Question Answered: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead he stated, “I say unequivocally that the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”
Spiritual Sticking Point #2: I Don’t Want to Believe
Well-known atheist Aldous Huxley wrote in his book Ends and Means, “I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. . .. For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”
Other people have a similar kind of hidden obstacle: the fear of intimacy. They aren’t afraid of Christ changing their life; their unspoken fear is of intimacy. They feel attracted toward God, but they recoil from the prospect of relating to anybody on a deep level.
One other variation of this spiritual sticking point is a hidden authority obstacle. A person who struggles with this doesn't want anyone—including the God who created them—to tell them how to live their life. So they find reasons not to believe. But they’re missing the point: God’s goal isn’t to boss us around, but to guide us into our greatest purpose and potential and to protect us from our own self-destructive behavior.
Spiritual Sticking Point #3: I Don’t Know What to Believe
People get confused because they hear all kinds of interpretations of the Bible. They see different denominations. They hear some people who take the Bible literally and some who say it’s just a general moral guideline. They hear people using the Bible to support contradictory positions. They try reading the Bible and get bogged down in Leviticus.
The key to accurately understanding the Bible is the same as the key to understanding any communication—you must study to determine what the writer actually meant. Not what we want it to say; not to interpret it for our benefit; not to read our biases into it—but to figure out what the writer intended to communicate.
Now, there are difficult sections of the Bible, and well-intentioned people can legitimately debate the finer points, but when it comes to the critical central message of what you and I need to know the most, there’s no ambiguity.
One verse sums it up: Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
You don’t have to know everything about the Bible to know something. And that verse is clear about the central truth you need to know. There’s no ambiguity or confusion about it.
Spiritual Sticking Point #4: I Do Believe; Isn’t That Enough?
These people say, “I understand the gospel, and I believe it’s true. But I still feel like I’m at a sticking point. I feel like something is holding me back from experiencing the kind of relationship with God that people talk about around here. Why does God seem to be distant from me? Why can’t I really connect with God?”
Believing is the first step, but we must also receive! Romans 6:23 says that eternal life is a free gift—but think about a Christmas gift. It doesn’t become yours until you reach out and receive it. Otherwise, it sits unclaimed and unopened under the tree.
Believe + Receive = Become.