Tim Keller and Don Carson on How to Best Respond to Two Key Objections Many College Students Have to Christianity

Theologians Don Carson and Tim Keller identify common objections to Christianity and how to respond. | The Gospel Coalition/YouTube

Theologians Don Carson and Tim Keller have weighed in on two key objections many college students have to Christianity and the Christian faith and shared how to best respond to such criticisms.

“It’s probably easier to do university evangelism today than it was 20 years ago,” Carson, president and co-founder of The Gospel Coalition, said in a video posted on The Gospel Coalition’s website.

“Partly because 20, 30, 40 years ago, a lot of university students were still fighting off the background of their own history in Judeo-Christian thought. They were still rebelling. Nowadays, they’re so bone ignorant about classic Christianity that they don’t know enough to rebel. You approach them courteously and they’ll respond with a certain degree of courteous interest.”

“I used to get heckled,” the 73-year-old author added. “I’m much less likely to get heckled today.”

But the most “offensive” thing to university students today, according to Carson, is the “exclusive claims of Christ.”

“The question shows up in many different forms: How can you say that unless you’re a Christian, you’re going to Hell? Or, what about all the Hindus or Muslims or Buddhists or whatever?’” he explained. “So it’s the exclusive claims of Christ that are perhaps the most offensive thing in the contemporary climate.”

To those who object to the inclusivity of Christ, Carson had this to say: “Surely you don’t think that nobody goes to Hell, do you? Then what are the criteria for who goes to Heaven?”

“Suddenly you’re into a serious conversation that traditional apologetics would be concerned about,” Carson said. “But you’ve got in it through a side door … what holiness is and who God is and accountability to Him.”

Keller, author and co-founder of Redeemer City to City, agreed, adding that those who believe only “bad” people should go to Hell are being exclusive themselves.

“You’re saying good people get in bad people get out,” he said. “I say anybody who asks for the mercy of Christ; the abusive person, the prostitute, the mafia man who kills people for a living, they can get in too. I would actually say that people who are humble enough to ask for a savior are in, and the people who are too proud are out.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett