Sean McDowell | March 10, 2020

How Do We Best Address Unquestioned Answers?

My friend Jeff Myers has an important new book that needs to be on the radar of thoughtful Christians. In Unquestioned Answers, he looks at some of the most common slogans Christians frequently offer, such as, “It’s just me and Jesus,” and “It’s not my place to judge.” Myers takes these slogans one by one and offers a more biblically grounded response that addresses the underlying issues. Check out this brief interview and then consider getting a copy of his excellent book, which I was happy to endorse:

SEAN MCDOWELL: I love the title of your new book Unquestioned Answers. Typically, people think of “unanswered questions” but you flipped the script. Why?

JEFF MYERS: Some people struggle with unanswered questions, but many more struggle with unquestioned answers—clichés that keep their faith at a shallow level. It’s a serious problem in the church. Jesus called us to be fishers of men. No one ever caught a fish by skimming the surface. You have to be willing to go deeper. That’s why it’s our mission at Summit Ministries to equip and support the rising generation in embracing God’s truth and championing a Christian worldview.

MCDOWELL: Why are there so many popular but unbiblical Christian slogans?

MYERS: Simplistic solutions are very attractive in a complex world. For much of my life I tended to ask, “Does it sound good?” more than I asked, “Is it true?” My heroes were those who boiled complex issues down to punchy slogans. I’m changing. I’m trying to slow down, listen, express curiosity, and not feel that I have to “close the deal” with every conversation. We desperately need godly leadership, but I’m pretty sure we won’t get it until we experience a renaissance of Christian thoughtfulness.

MCDOWELL: What is your response to the popular slogan, “It’s just me and Jesus”?

MYERS: The “me-ness” of that slogan is precisely what I need to be rescued from. I don’t need Jesus to affirm my life choices. I need him to save me (Eph. 2:8-9), make me right with God (2 Cor. 5:21) and give me his mind (1 Cor. 2:16). As this happens, Jesus lifts me out of my “me-ness” and makes me part of a story that is far larger than the one I would tell on my own. Jesus offers salvation and also worldview—a framework for understanding all of reality.

MCDOWELL: People often say that Jesus was a “social justice warrior.” Why do you disagree?

MYERS: In the academic world I come from, “social justice” means the redistribution of wealth. To say that Jesus was a social justice warrior is to say that he was a political revolutionary who came to take from “haves” and give to the “have-nots.” Yes, Jesus frequently expressed God’s concern for justice. But while ministry to the poor and oppressed is the paper on which his ministry was written, it was not the point of the narrative. Jesus did not come to be a social justice warrior. He came as the Son of God to reconcile us to the Father.

MCDOWELL: In chapter 8, you claim it is inaccurate to say, “It’s not my place to judge.” What is the biblical place for judgment?

MYERS: Good judgement is a virtue and we ought to exercise it with our money, our time, our neighbors, and in passing the baton to the next generation. Judgmentalism is different from good judgment, though. People are usually described as judgmental when they easily find fault with others. Christians don’t need to be that way. If God’s truth is really true, and it is really possible to grasp it, then we ought to feel secure enough to engage others rather than dismiss them. We do this in part by asking sincere questions that display curiosity and friendly determination.

Jeff Myersis the president of Summit Ministries, one of my favorite worldview and apologetics ministries to students. Please check it out and consider sending a young person between 16-25.

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, the National Spokesman for Summit Ministries, a best-selling author, popular speaker, and part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.