Longing for a Holiday has a link on her blog to a *.pdf file of an article by Tim Keller titled, “How Can I know God?” It ends by suggesting, “Make a list of the issues that you perceive to be barriers to your crossing the line into faith” and provides some sample headings.
Sounds like a worthwhile exercise for me. Here’s my list, off the top of my head:
1. Who is God?
2. Where is God?
3. Does God care about individual humans, humanity as a whole, or neither?
4. Why has God created us/me?
5. What does God want of us/me?
6. Why is there death?
7. What exactly did Jesus accomplish/what is the gospel message?
8a. What do we need to do to be saved?
8b. If you don’t do it, what happens?
9. What/who do we need to be saved from?
10. Why do we need to be saved?
11. How does God intend for us to use the Bible?
12. Why is faith considered a virtue?
13. How do we know (any of the above)?
1. Why do so many Christians disagree with each other on the answers to the above questions?
2. Why would God communicate in a manner open to so many contradictory interpretations?
3. If God is all-powerful and loves us, why are there hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and disease?
4. When will God fulfil His promise of Isaiah 65:20?
5. Why does Matthew’s gospel consider Isaiah 7 a prophecy of Christ?
6. Why does Adam’s choice affect us more effectively than Christ’s?
7a. If salvation is not universal, why isn’t it?
7b. If salvation is universal, in what way does it concern us?
8. Christ instructed his followers to heal people. Why can’t we?
9. What happened to Jesus in his hometown (Mark 6: 1-6)? Does God need our faith to be able to act?
1. How long must I seek and not find?