How Questions Led a Muslim and a Skeptic to Christ

Apr 03, 2019

Vince is joined by RZIM apologist Abdu Murray, a former Muslim whose years-long search for truth ultimately led him to the person of Jesus Christ. This week he shares part of his personal story, and together he and Vince discuss the difference between being a skeptic and being a cynic. They also answer the question of how Christians can justify their beliefs to others if they still have questions about their own faith.

Read more from Abdu Murray in his newest book, Saving Truth: Finding Meaning and Clarity in a Post-Truth World.

Have a question you want Ask Away to cover? Email us at askaway@rzim.org or use the hashtag #askrzim on Twitter. You can also talk about this episode with fellow podcast listeners and the RZIM team on our online community.

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Vince Vitale – @VinceRVitale
Abdu Murray – @AbduMurray
Jo Vitale – @Joanna_Vitale
Michael Davis – @mdav1979


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Transcript



Note: Ask Away is produced to be heard, not read. We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio. Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print.

Michael Davis: Hello and welcome to another episode of Ask Away with Vincent and Jo Vitale. I am your host, Michael Davis. In reaction to liberalism, which permeated much of theological academia and many seminaries in the late 19th century and much of the 20th century, many faithful Christians abandoned the intellectual pursuit of truth. In many churches, any questioning was seen as either a mark of a weak believer or at worst, attacking the faith itself.

Thankfully, this is changing. But many people are still dealing with the fallout of being raised in a church where questioning anything about God, or the Bible was seen as bad. But where do we draw the line? Or is there even one? How is it possible to have questions about the various tenants of the faith, but still call ourselves Christian?

But before we get started, though, Jo is away on maternity leave, I am excited to announce that we have Abdu Murray with us in the studio today. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and about your latest book Saving Truth, available for sale today?

Abdu Murray: I would love to. Thanks for having me on guys, really appreciate that.

Michael Davis: Yeah. This is great.

Abdu Murray: Yeah. I'm Abdu Murray. And one of the questions people always ask is, Abdu and Murray! What the heck is going on with the Arabic and Scottish last name? It was always [foreign language], but they Anglicized it for us when we came over. So now I'm Lebanese and Scottish. Which means that I-

Michael Davis: I didn't even know that. I've wondered that.

Abdu Murray:...That's how it happened. The joke I always give is that I fight with everybody now. So, I was raised as a Muslim for most of my life, a Shiite Muslim. The way to say it really is Shia. I was a Shia for most of my life, took it very seriously, and was a propagator of it but I actually thought that people should believe true things and not false things. And I thought that time that Islam was true, and therefore people should believe it. And I was very conversational about it. I wasn't like flipping my Quran at people or yelling Allahu Akbar in their face every five seconds. I would get to conversations. And I would ask Christians why they were a Christian.

And Christians were low hanging fruit. I was an equal opportunity faced knock her out of her. But Christian... technical terms. But Christians were low hanging fruit, because they were around in the area I grew up in. And so, I often found out that the reasons were tradition, not really, a careful thought out belief system they embrace themselves. And so I would launch into my attacks.

Over the course of some years, however, there were these Christians who actually knew what they were talking about. And they had embraced their faith because of a robust understanding of what they were doing in the first place. And not only did they respond to my objections, but they actually had some objections of their own, to launch my way. And so over the course of some years ago, I began to study Christianity to respond to these people.

I began to see that it was... Well, Al Gore would call it Inconvenient Truth. Christianity was a little more reasonable than I thought it was. And as I began to look at the life of Jesus at the veracity of the Bible, at the evidence for the resurrection, at the way the Quran itself actually talks about the Bible in very glowing terms, I began to see that this is worth considering and wrestling with.

But over the course of nine years, as the evidence became more and more credible to me, the consequences became heavier and heavier on my heart. And so, I often tell people that the reason why it took nine years for me to become a Christian, was not because the answers were hard to find, because they're hard to accept. But eventually became so compelling not only to my mind, but also to my heart, that they were something I couldn't help but accept. And I did.

I'm a natural born advocate, I was a trial lawyer, I'm still a lawyer, trial lawyer for years and years. I'm a natural born advocate. And so, I maintain my personal license as a lawyer, though I do this full time now with the ministry. And I knew that when I became a Christian, I would have to talk to people about it. And I would have to defend the Christian faith in the most credible terms possible. And I did that.

I did it part-time for a while on my own, my own ministry. And along the way, I started doing ministry with RZIM, and they asked me to join the team. And I was honored to do so. My first day on the job was open forum at the University of Calgary with Ravi. And I remember thinking to myself, "If this doesn't go well, it could be my last day on the job." But that was three and a half years ago. So apparently, it went well enough that I'm sitting here in this room with you two gentlemen. So, yeah.

And the book is my third one. And the reason for Saving Truth, the title is Saving Truth: Finding Meaning and Clarity in a Post-Truth World, was largely in reaction to the fact that, when we're seeing things on our universities, when we're seeing kids come to the microphones, we're seeing the academics do what they do and say what they say. But also it's bleeding out of the larger culture, you're seeing the prevalence of feelings and preferences mattering more than truth. That's what post-truth is all about.

And I needed to find a way to express the clarity, and the hope that truth actually brings. In other words, the goal of the book is to point out that we're in a post-truth culture of confusion, why that's a bad thing. And giving full vent to our preferences will not lead to freedom, it will lead to enslavement, and how truth is that which leads to freedom, ultimately. And that's the whole point of the book.

So it's broken down into various topics; confusion about freedom, confusion about dignity, confusion about sexuality, confusion about science and faith, but also bringing clarity in those areas. And ultimately, I hope it's not just the world a terrible place, Christians need to fix it kind of a book, it's more, where's the hope? Where can we find good things as well?

Vince: Well, it's great to have you on the show. And I would say that you're my favorite guest on the show except for the fact that I normally do this with my wife.

Abdu Murray: Yeah, I knew you would see it that way.

Vince: Actually my second or third, Michael, favorite guest on the show.

Michael Davis: What about John and...

Vince: Yeah. It's great to have you with us. And actually, two of our colleagues are just starting a podcast called Cover to Cover, where they're reading through different books. And the first one they've chosen is Saving Truth. And they are going through the first few chapters, and they say the content is just so rich. They're having so much trouble fitting it into the episode, but they're just loving it. And looking forward to seeing how they deal with it on that podcast as well.

It's great to hear some of your story again, as well. And I know that there are action points between your story and mine. But even more than I had been reflecting on both of us starting from that skeptical place about Christianity. You from a Muslim background, myself from a sort of culturally Christian background, but not a believing background, part of the ethnic heritage, but not something, which was true of what I believed, or the way that I tried to live my life. So thankful as I listened to your story for the people that had taken their faith seriously, and asked you questions, and challenged you, and had good responses to your questions. And as I was listening to your story, I can see the faces of the people in my life, who asked those questions, and who had good answers that I didn't expect.

You from a Muslim background, in a sense in your heart, you initially were hoping for it not to be true.

Abdu Murray: Right.

Vince: Same was the case for me. And the first time I was challenged to read the Bible, I was crossing things out and adding things in the margins, and confident that the way I saw the world was correct, and the Christian way wasn't. Yeah, just grateful that we're both sitting here now having come from two different places, but arriving at a common faith.

Abdu Murray: That weaving together of people who come into your life at the right time, oftentimes. I mean, I remember when I was very much challenging these issues about the Bible veracity, I was taking courses in biblical understanding. I had a class called Jesus and the Gospels, taught by professor who I think is Swedish. And the reason why I think that, it's because of his name, but also because of his accent. It's not like the Swedish chef from Muppets, and he gave a lot of information that allows someone from a liberal perspective to be able to attack the Bible.

Well, these two guys, these two missionaries come to my door. These two Baptist guys. Missionaries is probably as a loose term, but they're going door-to-door. So they're missionaries in that sense. And they come to my door at the University of Michigan, and they say, "Want to talk about Jesus?" I'm like, "Yeah, want talk about Jesus, come on in, I got some things to share with you guys I just learned from this Christian professor." And they were like, "Oh my goodness," I made them extremely uncomfortable for a long time. The best part about that though, I love these two guys by the way.

One was a super tall skinny guy, almost stone bald. The other guy was short squat, had like a big mustache like a cop kind of a mustache. I called them a walking number 10 because of the way they look, tall and squat. I remember making them uncomfortable, but they kept coming back. And no matter, they often answered me with one of the best questions you can answer a guy, "I don't know, but I'll get back to you." And they did get back to me. And I remembered admiring their love of truth and their care for me specifically. They didn't want to win an argument with some punk kid, what they wanted was to see that punk kid get transformed and go to heaven. And I wanted to see them in God's paradise with this mutual love for each other, even though we had a different perspective on things.

But eventually, my admiration with them was so powerful that what they said, even if it wasn't all that, "You're brilliant," at times, they had some really good answers too, but sometimes it wasn't all that great. I could tell that they came from a place of thinking, "We love truth, and we love you. And that was always something to me.

Vince: That's great. Yeah, I think that sort of deep fundamental confidence and passion that a Christian can have for their faith can be so significant. And that was the case in my life as well. People who didn't have perfect answers, and yet they still seem to have this deep conviction, that in some way didn't make sense to me, because the answers weren't perfect. But I think ultimately, that pointed to the fact that what they had faith in went beyond just the answers and to a person.

Abdu Murray: Yeah. Well put, that's exactly right.

Michael Davis: Well, this is actually a fantastic segue into our first question, actually.

Abdu Murray: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Michael Davis: This one comes from Kyle. How would you bring someone to Christ who insists on questioning everything, no matter what the answer may be?

Abdu Murray: Well, let me say this to you, Kyle, is first don't lose hope if you're experiencing that, because that was me. I was exactly the guy who was questioning everything, no matter what the answer may be. So, Kyle, what I want to tell you is that as you're engaging with someone, and all they ever do is sort of say... They have what I call yeah-but syndrome. Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but, everything you say has a yeah-but at the end of it, because they're listening to respond, not to understand. And you can challenge them on that. But don't lose heart. I was exactly that guy. I was the person who was saying a lot of yeah-buts. But secretly my yeah-buts were a cover up for the phrase, "That's a good point. Oh, I didn't think of it that way before." I didn't want to say it out loud. So I said, yeah-but instead. So I want to encourage you first, Kyle, that you can do that.

Second, I think it's important to understand that sometimes when people ask questions of everything you say, it's not because they're actually just being so radically obstreperous, or contrarian, that nothing you say has any impact. But sometimes it's the case, people just like to argue. There are people for whom this is just a hobby. And you got to discern that sometimes, and Jesus did that. He would discern it as well. But they're the biblical warrant for questioning people who say, "I'm not taking your word for it." The Bereans didn't do it with Paul, they were considered more noble than Thessalonians, because they actually considered everything Paul said and tested in a lot of the Scriptures.

The big difference for me, is the difference between figuring out if someone is a skeptic, or they're a cynic. A skeptic is somebody who won't believe until there's enough evidence. And they'll use their questions to find out if there is. A cynic is somebody who won't believe even when there is enough evidence. You take the apostle Thomas, and he was the called the doubter. And he says, "I won't believe until I see and feel for myself, the nail scars in Jesus's body, and the wounds in the aside, then I believe. And then Jesus rewards his questioning with evidence.

Then you have Pilate who asked the question when Jesus says, "Whoever is in the side of truth listens to me." Pilate says, "What is truth?" And then he walks out of the room. Thomas was a skeptic, Pilate was a cynic. And you have to figure out, it's very hard to do it. It's more of an art than a science, but is also a lot of Holy Spirit discernment, when you do pray up your conversations, "Who am I talking to? Am I talking to a skeptic or a cynic?" And sometimes you got to call them out for being that. You got to do it gently and with love, but sometimes the best way to love somebody is to call them out if they're being a cynic. And so the questions become this, "Do these answers actually matter to you?" And that will help I think a lot.

Vince: That's so good. And you mentioned the yeah-but approach, I was going to refer to the what about this, approach. As soon as you get to a compelling response, someone questions, "Yeah, but what about... " And that can actually be part of your evidence about whether or not you're dealing with a skeptic or a cynic. The person who's a skeptic, if a compelling response is given, they're going to linger on it and try to actually appreciate the content of what's been said. The person who immediately goes yeah, but or what about, and then brings it to an unrelated matter, or a completely different question, that might be the person that is more of a cynic. And I agree with Abdu, in that case, gently and with respect.

But there is a way to turn that conversation in a challenging way, a couple of questions that you might ask that sort of person. You might move more towards the personal and the existential, and ask questions like, Well, if the God of the Bible does exist, would you then give your life to him?" That's going to make the cynic quite uncomfortable, but it's going to be telling for him or her to have to deal with that. Or, "Do you want God to exist? Why or why not?" Or, "What scares you most about life with God?" Those sorts of questions are ones that will move beyond just the 'what about' or the 'yeah-buts' and make someone deal with where their heart is at.

And if someone is a cynic, you could go round and round to the apologetics, and the history, and the science, and the philosophy for ages. But if you don't actually challenge the person to deal with their heart, then they're not going to get anywhere good.

And I think Abdu, interesting you brought up Thomas. I was thinking about Thomas as well, because when Thomas doubts, he specifically says that he needs to see and touch Jesus's scars. I wonder if there's something symbolic in that as well, that before Thomas is ready to trust Jesus with himself, ready to trust Jesus with his scars, he needs to see and even touch the scars of Jesus.

So just a final encouragement on that as well, is, I would say, when you're dealing with someone like that, they may seem very strong, very aggressive, very impersonal in their responses to the questions, "Yeah, but, yeah, but, what about this," but actually, if that's the front, then something much more vulnerable is going on in the heart. And sometimes people are not willing to share that unless you first are willing to share your scars and your vulnerability. That is the gospel. It's the way that Jesus communicated truth to us, he came in the most vulnerable way, in order to reveal truth to us with the greatest clarity.

So be willing to be vulnerable about your questions, about what you're dealing with in your life, about what you're trusting God for, and that may help move that conversation away from just the yeah-buts, and on to something much more significant.

Abdu Murray: This is my own story about what you said earlier, Vince, about the whole find out what would be scary about it being true. I honestly wish someone had asked me that a long time ago.

Vince: Yes.

Abdu Murray: My journey taking nine years, might have been short circuited because I didn't realize that the impetus for my objections, yes, they were intellectual, but only in part, but I didn't think they were intellectual in part, I thought they were intellectual in the whole. But the real reason I was becoming resistant, was because there was a consequence to what my beliefs would be, or my own identity shift if I became a Christian. So I've often asked the question, similarly, "If you became a Christian today, let's assume for a moment I could convince you, if you become a Christian today, what would happen next." And then be quiet, just let them fill in the space and see what happens.

If someone had asked me that, I think I would have realized the barriers to my belief way earlier. It is what it is. My journey of faith, took I think, the trajectory that it was supposed to. But in the end, I think offering that is really, really important. And asking them the question you just said, in whatever various forms you can, "If you became a Christian, if it were true, would you give your life to it?" Because you might probably find out the answer is no. I mean, I've actually asked that question that had someone say no.

Vince: And that always surprises me, how honest people often are in response to that question. Because I would have thought that I would ask that question and of course, everyone would say, just as a matter of integrity, "Well, sure, if it's true, I'm going to follow it." Many people don't. In that moment, I think it sort of startles you the question in a good way, and that honest instinct of the heart is often the revelation to oneself, that I may actually not follow this, even if it is true, but that's a really good. If you can get someone to that point where they realize that it's their heart, and not just their mind, that is holding them back, that is very significant.

And so often, we actually think the people who continue to bring up the philosophy questions, the history questions, the science questions, that they need the philosophy and the history and the science most. Sometimes it's the opposite. That is actually a defense mechanism, because something more serious is going on in the heart.

Abdu Murray: So it's at least some important thing to actually have.

Vince: Exactly right.

Abdu Murray: One last bit of advice on this one, remember something, if someone questions everything, do they really? I mean, if they're questioning everything you say in response, do they apply the same level of skepticism to another worldview, than maybe the one they currently have? Were they this critical of the current worldview they have? And that also is a clue to whether or not they're a skeptic or a cynic. But yeah, whether or not they need that information, so it's really the key.

Michael Davis: So sometimes, and I was a cynic for years and years. Sometimes you love a cynic, sometimes your father or your spouse might be a cynic. What would you guys say would be the best course of action to let's say, they do the test that you guys do, they find out to this person, but, what about, and then? And they say, "Okay, this person, I love them. I want them to know who Jesus is. How do they try to reach someone and understand over the long term with someone who's an actual cynic? Because we're not supposed to give up on even cynics, right?

Abdu Murray: Well, I'll tell you, that resonates quite a bit because I think that I share some DNA with people like that, who have sincere good questions, but are not sure that the answers matter that much, as opposed to the other issues, like the costs that are associated with or just being cynical.

I think there are two ways to actually respond to this. One is to not give up. Jesus actually... when you read Mark 10, I believe it is, there's this little phrase, when he's talking to the rich young ruler, the guy comes up to him says, "Good teacher, what to do to attain eternal life." He says, "Why do you call me good?" And all these things. And the guy goes to this whole tirade about how I've kept all these things, since I was a kid. I did all the commandments, I'm justified. He almost waits for Jesus to justify him. And the Bible has a curious but beautiful little phrase, "And Jesus, loving him, said to him, You lack one thing." It was a loving thing to do to point out his fault. And it wasn't just that rich people can't enter heaven, it was that this particular rich guy is so enamored with self aggrandizement that Jesus needed to point it out. And the guy walked away sad, and Jesus let him. We have no idea if that guy came back and eventually followed Jesus, one of the days later. He had hundreds of disciples, and a crowd follow around him, we have no idea. But we do know that, that was an impactful conversation. And at that point, Jesus let him walk away.

But Jesus did something else. Yes, he lived out what it meant to be... well, of course, being God Himself, was one thing, but he also lived out a godly life. He lived out the faith he was professing that other people should believe, especially in him. So, I would say, one, it's you got to call it out sometimes, with someone you love. It's hard though, because they love you and they know you, especially if they're like an authority figure over you, like a mother or a father, or an uncle, wherever it might be it can be really difficult.

But two, I think if you consistently live out the faith that you're proclaiming to them, they're waiting to see, "Do you live this out as if it's true? 1st Peter 3:15, doesn't just say, "Provide a reason for the hope you have within you." It says, "To do that to anyone who asks." So the question is, do you live a life that is so hope filled based on truth, that a person is going to say, "Okay, I got to ask what's with you?"

Vince: Yeah. And I think in a relationship, you need to earn the level of trust, such that you could invite someone in quite a specific way to journey with you as well. If you don't have that deep level of trust, and you haven't earned that in the context of the relationship, especially with someone who's cynical, then you're not in a place to do that. But I know, even with my father before he had become a Christian, I can remember very specifically a conversation where I said to him, "Dad, I've never ever been so sure of anything in my life. And we spent most of my life with you teaching me, and I'm so thankful for that. And there's so much that you have shared with me about life and what's true in life, and the significance that has had for me. I've never been more confident that something is true than this thing, the person of Jesus that I want to share with you. Would you trust me enough to at least consider that?"

That's a big ask. But it takes a level of trust and depth of relationship in order for that ask to be received well. But if the depth of relationship is there, then you can leverage that with integrity, to say, "I have learned a lot from you, and I care about you so deeply, would you be willing to consider this because I'm so confident in it." And that was significant, in terms of our relationship.

And this is... It is one of the reasons why I love that Christianity is not just a religion, it's a relationship. And so even for the person who thinks, "The theories don't add up, I still have questions, I can't make it square with the science, or the philosophy, or the history, we can also invite people to go beyond that, and say, "Christianity is not just a theory, it's not just abstract, but it's a person. And therefore if you want to know about this person in the deepest way, you can't just get that by talking about them from afar." I could have told you about Abdu, this whole episode and just spoken about him, and you would have learned something about him. But if you wanted to really get to know him, it's much better for me to invite him on the show, and to close that gap, to close that distance. And you actually hear from him directly.

I love that in the Christian faith, because it's a personal faith. We can invite anyone, even the cynic, even the person who has really difficult questions, to come and get to know the person of Jesus directly. And that could look like reading the Bible together, that could look like praying together. I did quite a bit of praying before I became a Christian. And it sounded like, "God, I don't know if I'm talking to anyone, but... " And then I went from there. I think God really honors those sorts of prayers as well.

So I would say with that person in your life, with the cynic, develop the sort of depth of relationship where you could make a big ask of them to consider this seriously and personally with you. And if the relationship is strong enough, a lot of people will be willing to do that.

Michael Davis: So now that we've talked about the skeptic, or the cynic having questions, let's go to the next question. And this is from Blesso. I am a Christian and believe in Christ, but I have my own questions. In light of this, how can we give a logical justification to a non Christian, that Jesus Christ is the only God and others are not?

Vince: Blesso just as a start, let me just say, great, I'm glad you have your own questions. I get worried about people... Someone once said to me, "I get worried about people when they think they have got all figured out." So, that's a good thing. When we think we're at a point where we cease learning about the eternal infinite God, that's when we're in trouble. So the fact that you have questions, that's a real positive, not a negative.

Abdu Murray: Yeah, I mean, I put it interestingly, when I was a Muslim, I would say this, I hear Muslim saying all the time too. In Christianity, God is so complex. There's so many things to understand trinity. How can God be one in three at the same time and all these. Islamic is straightforward, it's true, it's obvious, it's easy. And my view is, that's a good reason to not believe it.

Michael Davis: Yeah, sure.

Vince: Wow!

Abdu Murray: Why would you believe in a God who was so obviously just plain. The creator of the universe can be grasped by you after a moment's thought? I mean, my goodness, are you kidding? Why would you worship that kind of a god? I mean, it seems to me like he should be worshiping you, if he was that easy to understand. I'm not easy to understand, let alone God. I have questions about myself, let alone the god I worship. So I guess if I would just adventure or offer guests here, not really as a guest, it is actually some considered thought about this, because I have my own questions. I still have my own questions, and I delight in my questions, very much so.

The Bible says in Proverbs 25:2, that, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, it is a glory of Kings to seek things out." What that means to me and what I see there is that God actually conceals things not so that we never discover them, so that we have the delight of the discovery. If you were spoon fed everything about God, then you would never actually delight in that learning. When my youngest, sorry, not my youngest, my oldest was really young, he felt that affinity, and a love for numbers and letters. So like a good dad, I bought him everything even close to resembling letters and numbers they could play with. And I got him this little speaking spell. It was a laptop, but it wasn't really a laptop, is one of these-

Vince: Mike has got one of those.

Michael Davis: Yeah, yeah.

Abdu Murray:...Yeah. The Spider Man laptop, to fool the kid, thinks he got a computer. And he was... We were sitting at a table, my wife and I, and my son was sitting next to us, and he said the letter he said the word fat. "What?" I look over the screen, and sure enough, F-A-T is on the screen. He had read that letter, he read those words, I mean. Like, "Oh my goodness, he read something." So I hit the next word button, and here's, cat... not the word cat. My son was reading at a really early age. I was super delighted about this whole thing. He was squealing with delight.

That discovery was his to enjoy. And of the two of us, I was the more enjoying it because as someone who cares for him, I'm cognizant of what it means to discover something. He has a glimmer of discovery. I have the fully armed picture of what the world's opening up to. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter because He sees the full armed picture of what it means for us to discover a matter. That's what the Bible says what it says.

So your questions are actually glorifying God, if they're pursued that way. Now, how can you offer to somebody else the truth is because enough answers have been given. You don't have to have comprehensive answers about your Christian faith before you share it with somebody else, you just have to have enough answers. And those answers in distinction to some are some of the worldview. So if you take Islam, you take Buddhism, you take some of these things, you can look at the worldview claims, and ask yourself, "Do they actually make any kind of sense or their historical backing for these things." Buddhism for example, Buddha actually taught it, was that you have to be...

One of the things that besets us and causes us pain and loss in this world is our desire for attachment. And we can lose our attachments when we lose our desires. And if we lose our desires, we'll actually be able to follow the Eightfold Path. The problem with it is you have to desire that. So you can never actually lose your desire for desire, which is why Zen Buddhism invents koans. And koans are these self contradictory statements that you have to live with in order to like empty your mind because they basically short circuit your brain from thinking and you live in a state of like, mindfulness with mindlessness, which is itself self contradictory. You can already see, there are inherent self-contradictions in the world-view itself, so that you can actually dismiss other worldviews based on these things, or lack of historical evidence or whatever.

So you can look at those and say, "These might not be true for these serious reasons, then you have enough things to believe in about the Christian faith, that allow you to express that." If you knew just the evidence for the resurrection alone... I consider the resurrection with a sword and a shield in the sense that if you understand that Jesus, you can defend the claim that Jesus died on the cross and rose again, then you can say every other worldview that comes against it is wrong. And the Christian faith stands on the resurrection of Jesus. And I believe when he said, "He's the Son of God, takes away the sins of the world," because he died on the cross and rose from the dead. And a guy who rises from the dead should be believed.

Then it's also a sword, not just a shield, because it also says every worldview that denies the resurrection of Jesus, and His son ship, and His standing as our Savior is categorically wrong, because He proved himself to be right, and if you come against the truth, and you find yourself wanting, you're automatically wrong. So I think even just one thing, and there's many things, but this one thing. So Blesso, I would encourage you, in your questions, engage in the blessedness of the concert of questions. But also understand that you don't need to have all the answers to share your faith. If you just have one or two solid answers, you can really begin to say, "Jesus is who He said He was because He proved it. He didn't just say it, He proved it."

Vince: That's good. I like what you said earlier, I don't know, is a great answer. And then go back and look into it. Come back the next day, the next week to talk more and someone will be more impacted because you've taken the time to go away and consider their question. I love what you said earlier too, Abdu, about it being the glory of God to conceal a matter and our glory to discover it.

My fear when I first opened up the Bible was that it was going to be too pervasive, too clear, it was going to tell me specifically what I needed to think and how I needed to act in every given situation and on every matter of belief. That was my fear.

And part of that, I think was an understandable fear because I was studying philosophy as a time and I love the inquiry, I love the exploration, I love the investigation, and the discovery. And so I do love that, that God... what I have found in the Bible has given us clarity on the essentials, and clarity and repetitiveness on the things that we need to know most. And then he also has left some room for us to have these types of conversations for us to receive the sorts of questions that we receive on this show, and to work it out together. And there's something beautiful about that as well.

I would say Blesso, in response to what you asked about Jesus Christ being the only God and others are not, I find it very simple to just focus my attention on the fact that Jesus came down and lived a human life. The fact that God in the Christian faith did that makes Christianity unique in some really significant ways. One, it makes Christianity historical. And Abdu has already touched on this. It means you can go back into history and you can test it. You can only do that because God came down and He lived a historical life.

It also means that God has suffered with us, that is unique to Christianity, again, because God lived a human life that He didn't have to live. And then thirdly, the means of salvation. Visually, you can just picture that, it wasn't us trying to work our way up to God, but it was God literally coming down to us. So salvation therefore is not a reward for something that we've done, but it's a gift because of what God has done. When you focus in on the person of Jesus and His divinity. Then you see the uniqueness of Christianity, and it all stems from the incarnation.

Michael Davis: Well, guys, I think this is one of the fastest episodes I've ever done. This is great. Guys, we are out of time. Vince, sum it up for us.

Vince: Well, Kyle, Blesso, we've really appreciated your questions. Obviously, they speak to our stories as well. And we're just so thankful that you're reaching out to the people in your life, that you're taking their questions seriously. Be encouraged that you have people in your life who are questioning, they're not just in different, but they have questions. That's a great gift. And the answer to any question is something true, and all truth is grounded in God. So if people are asking you questions, that means you have an open door to share something about who God is, and what he's done and know that we'll be praying for you as you do so.

Michael Davis: Abdu, it's been such an honor having you here.

Abdu Murray: I'm blessed guys. Thank you.

Michael Davis: Vince, thank you for joining me and thank you all for listening and we will catch you guys next time.

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