Can Christianity answer the toughest questions raised against it? According to Rebecca McLaughlin, the answers is yes. In this interview, Sean and Scott ask McLaughlin, author of the new book Confronting Christianity, some of the most challenging questions Christians face today related to science and faith, the supposed intolerance of religion, the claim that Jesus is the only way, and so on.

About Our Guest

Rebecca McLaughlin holds a PhD from Cambridge University and a theology degree from Oak Hill seminary in London. She is a regular writer for The Gospel Coalition.

Episode Transcript

Sean McDowell: Welcome to the podcast Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith and Culture. I'm your host, Sean McDowell, Professor of Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.

Scott Rae: I'm your cohost, Scott Rae, Dean of Faculty and Professor of Christian Ethics, also at Talbot School of Theology here at Biola University.

Sean McDowell: Today we have a guest who's written a fascinating new book called Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World's Largest Religion, which, of course, is Christianity.

Sean McDowell: Rebecca McLaughlin holds a PhD in Renaissance Literature from Cambridge University and a theology degree from Oak Hill College. She's the cofounder of Vocable Communications and former Vice President of Content at the Veritas Forum. So she has spent a lot of time interacting with people on these questions. Rebecca, thanks for joining us today.

Rebecca McLaughlin: You're very welcome. Glad to be here.

Sean McDowell: Let me just start off by asking you, personally, what motivated you to write a book where you're tackling 12 of the toughest questions that, frankly, a lot of people hope don't come up in conversation? You kind of took them head-on. So what's the story behind this book?

Rebecca McLaughlin: Three different things. So, firstly, ever since I've been a serious Christian, I'm wanting to tell my friends about Jesus, and I happen to be in very secular, quite academic environments, from that time onwards. So I just have always had a desire to share this book with friends, and my friends have tended to be on the nerdier end of things. So they've had some really odd questions. They've had some really good reasons for not considering Christianity.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Number two, as you mentioned, I spent nearly ten years working at the Veritas Forum, and one of my core parts of my role there was identifying Christian professors at leading secular universities in all sorts of different disciplines, from physics to philosophy to psychology to literature, and helping them to think through how they could speak about their faith in relation to that work and giving them a platform to do that.

Rebecca McLaughlin: At the end of that process, I felt like I had this map of the Christian intellectual world and some of the most extraordinary people who God has raised up in the university and put at the very top of their fields and that very few people knew about them. I mean, folks within their discipline might well know of their research, but few people would know they were Christians, and many people, in particular, students walking into their classes on campus were getting the impression that different fields of the academic world had disapproved or discredited Christianity.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Actually, I knew people who are world leaders in that field who are very serious Christians, some of whom had even become Christians when they were already serious sort of academics. So there was just this information gap, and I thought, "I'd love to write a book that would give that map to Christians in general and also to non-Christians," and it would be a resource that people could not only read for themselves, but give to their friends.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Then just the third piece that flowed into this for me was my own lifelong experience of same-sex attraction and the fact that when gay marriage was legalized in America a few years back, I just moaned and lamented the ways that I felt like churches were often actually not doing a great job of representing an orthodox view of sexuality, either within the church or to those outside.

Rebecca McLaughlin: So I just felt like I wanted to play my [inaudible] role in helping folks think truly Biblically about these questions and to actually put Jesus back at the center of this conversation, rather than marginalizing him or misappropriating him, as some more progressive arguments tend to do.

Scott Rae: Well, Rebecca, we think you've done a great job at accomplishing the goals which you set out with to write the book. I particularly really liked the way you started the book by making the claim that Christianity is actually out-competing both secularism and more theologically liberal faiths. This is pretty counterintuitive, especially from a Christian community that oftentimes feels like it's under siege from an increasingly secular culture. But you actually have data to support this claim. Can you spell out a little bit what that data is, and why is it so important for the Christian community to understand this point?

Rebecca McLaughlin: Sure. So, 40 years ago, pretty much every sociologist of religion worth their salt believed that the world was becoming less religious. The theory was, as the world in general became more educated, more scientific, more modern, that religious belief would naturally decline, and the best evidence for this was what had happened in Western Europe, where modernization had brought secularization. The assumption was that where Western Europe led, the rest of the world would follow.

Rebecca McLaughlin: It turns out that was a very myopic and somewhat sort of white Western-centric view of things. In the last 40 years, that prophecy has actually failed. The secularization hypothesis, as it was called, has been disproved. Not only has the world failed to become less religious up to this point, but now, as sociologists look out over the next 40 years to 2060, they're anticipating an increasingly religious world, one in which Christianity will continue to be the largest belief system, actually growing slightly from about 31% of the world identify as Christian to 32% in 2016.

Rebecca McLaughlin: They expect the Islam is going to increase dramatically from roughly 25% to more like 31%, and Buddhism and Hinduism is set to decline slightly. The proportion of people of no religious affiliation, which includes atheists, agnostics, and people who just say none when asked for their religious affiliation is actually set to decline from 16% to 13%. So rather than the tide going out on religion, it's actually coming in.

Scott Rae: It recalls a statement of the late Richard John Neuhaus, the American Catholic theologian who said that the secularization thesis has everything going for it except empirical evidence, and it sounds like your data proves him correct on that.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Right. Well, I'd say everything going for it except empirical evidence and the history of the Church. So it's predicated on the idea that when people get more educated and when people learn more about science and when people just kind of get with the program, they're going to be less persuaded by the message of the Bible, and that forgets the fact that Christianity is the greatest intellectual movement in all of history, that gave birth to modern science, that gave birth to much of modern ethics, that gave birth to some of the greatest literature in the world.

Rebecca McLaughlin: So this idea, "Oh, well, when people actually start learning, instead of just having faith, they'll throw religion in general and Christianity in particular out" is based on a faulty assumption in the first place.

Sean McDowell: I love hearing you describe Christianity as an intellectually vibrant movement, and I think that's true. The history of the Church shows that. Can you share just maybe some of the lessons or reflections you have from working with some Christian professors in some of the leading secular institutions in the world that not only hold onto their faith, but kind of help advance the Christian cause in their unique disciplines?

Rebecca McLaughlin: I think in the last maybe 100 years or so, in America in particular, and not wanting to just point the finger at America, but given that that's where we all are, that's where we can start, we have bought into this idea that Christianity is basically anti-intellectual.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I think there have been good reasons for this. So we've started with the idea that the Gospel is really, at heart, very simple and something that a child should be able to grasp or somebody without any academic background or even a particularly strong mental capacity should be able to embrace. That is absolutely true. Concluded from that, that having faith and following Jesus sort of orients us away from academic study and away from the really hard and complex questions of the world, and, actually, I think it should orient us in the other direction.

Rebecca McLaughlin: So, talking with many Christian professors at leading secular institutions, they'll often find that not only do they feel like the odd one out among their academic colleagues, where their faith is seen as something of an oddity, they can also be seen as the odd one out in church, where people are maybe a little suspicious of them or just don't really know what to do with them, because they're a serious Christian and also someone who is in the academic world, and not in a hostile way, but as very much a vibrant contributor to it.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I think it's easy for us to forget that Christians literally invented the university, and universities like Harvard and Yale and Oxford and Cambridge were originally founded to bring glory to Jesus. So whereas there are certainly ways in which the complex ideas and exploration that academics pursue today can raise real and substantial questions when it comes to faith, and some of the ones I've tried to engage with in the book, the idea that, at heart, Christianity and the university as hostile adversaries versus some friends is one that I think we need to gently get rid of.

Scott Rae: Rebecca, I think one of the most helpful things about your book is how you take some of the most common objections to Christian faith and actually turn them upside down, right on their head. For example, it's not uncommon to hear people claim that the world's better off without religion. Christopher Hitchens made the point that religion poisons everything. Yet, you make a really strong case that religion is ... As you put it, it's like a, quote, "miracle drug." So tell, what do you mean by that, or what are the benefits of religious faith to a person's emotional, psychological health?

Rebecca McLaughlin: One of the wonderful professors I had the pleasure of getting to know while I was at Veritas is a man named Tyler Vanderville, who is a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, and he studies, professionally, the mental and physical health benefits of religious participation. It's actually quite impressive and extraordinary.

Rebecca McLaughlin: So it turns out that going to church once a week or more has been correlated with people having 20 to 30% reduced mortality over a 15-year period. So you're literally living longer. The health benefits are such that they're equivalent, actually, to something like quitting smoking.

Scott Rae: Wow.

Rebecca McLaughlin: We all know that smoking is bad for us, but quitting smoking and starting going to church turned out to be equivalent health interventions. Likewise, eating more fruits and vegetables, we know that it's good for us, but going to church once a week or more is equivalently good for us, just physically.

Scott Rae: Does that mean if I ...

Rebecca McLaughlin: Then there are the psychological ...

Scott Rae: ... go to church, I don't have to eat my fruits and vegetables?

Rebecca McLaughlin: I'm just now finishing the kids' version of my adult book, and one of the points I make in the first chapter where we talk about these things, I sort of put in brackets, "So if you hate brussels sprouts, then just ask your parents if you can go to church instead of eating them."

Sean McDowell: I love that.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Or I sometimes say to adults, "Take up smoking and keep going to church, and you'll be on par with your secular friends who don't smoke and don't go to church."

Rebecca McLaughlin: So there are the physical benefits, and then there are the mental health benefits, including lower instances of depression and sadness and suicidal ideation. It's actually quite extraordinary. So Tyler Vanderville wrote an op-ed for USA Today a few years ago where he called religious participation like a drinking elixir to improve our mental and physical health. One of the things he referenced there was the fact that people who go to church once a week or more are less likely to kill themselves than those who don't.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I was impressed with this at the time, but then, just a few weeks ago, I actually looked at the article, his articles that he was siting on that. It turns out it's a five times difference. So someone who goes to religious services once a week or more is five times less likely to kill themselves than somebody who never goes. We hear so much, and rightly so, about suicide prevention initiatives. There'll be public health statements about that. There'll be school curriculums about that. Tyler says religious participation is probably the best protection against suicide that we know of. I mean, do you ever hear kids being told, "Actually, go to church," that that may be your best strategy?

Scott Rae: That's not in the suicide prevention curriculum.

Rebecca McLaughlin: It's not, and maybe it should be. To be clear, so the effects are not limited to Christianity. So you could be going to synagogue once a week and have similar effects. But it is limited to religious participation. So going to the golf club once a week and doing a shared activity with the same people only seems to have about 20 to 30% of the same effect as religious participation. So there does seem to be something particular about religious participation, in terms of its benefits for us.

Sean McDowell: So let me ask you this question. I appreciate, in the chapter, you say this doesn't prove that Christianity is true. So what does it prove, and what follows from this?

Rebecca McLaughlin: In the first chapter of my book, I'm essentially asking the non-Christian reader, and the book is actually written primarily to a non-Christian, to just give Christianity another look, because I can understand if you think that religion in general and Christianity in particular is simply bad for people and the world would just be better off without it, I can kind of understand people saying, "You know what? I'm not going to even take the claims of Jesus seriously. I'm not going to waste my time looking at what the Bible has to say about the world."

Rebecca McLaughlin: But if, instead, you find that active religious participation is really good for people and actually, also, very good for their pro-social behavior people ... I mean, people who go to church every week in America give 3.5 times as much money to charity as their secular peers. They volunteer twice as much. They give more blood. They're half as likely to engage in domestic violence, et cetera, et cetera. Once you see that kind of effect, you might start to think, "I wonder if there's something in here," because my friends who are not Christians absolutely want the world to be a better place. They care about people's health and happiness. They care about suicide prevention. They care about people not being swamped in depression and sadness, and so to say, actually just looking at the empirical data paints a pretty impressive picture of Christianity, let's then take a look at what the claims of Christianity are.

Sean McDowell: I think that's so wise, in terms of the approach because I've often said that skeptics, when they look at Christianity, the primary question is not "Is it true?", but "Is it good?" They won't even entertain questions about its truth status if they think it's bad.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Yeah.

Sean McDowell: That brings me to a next question that I love you tackled in this, and it's the idea that Christianity is a white man's religion that crushes diversity. You argue the opposite. You say, actually, white men, so to speak, are late to the Christian story, and it encourages diversity. Can you unpack that chapter for us?

Rebecca McLaughlin: Yeah, I think this is one of the most important moves that we as the church at large need to make in the public square and in private conversations. Especially in this country, we carry into this a history of racism, of which we must be ashamed and repent, those of us who have come from a particular racial and cultural backgrounds, for the ways in which Christians have, in horrible ways, oppressed black Americans and are currently, actually, treating immigrants of color very differently than they would treat somebody like me, who is a white immigrant from Europe. So I want us to have an appropriate humility as we go into this conversation.

Rebecca McLaughlin: But, having settled that, I think we need to reclaim diversity. We need to recognize the fact that the New Testament is the most anti-racist and pro-diversity document in the history of the world, really, that Jesus actually invented the idea of love across racial and cultural difference, both by breaking through those barriers in His own life and ministry and then by telling His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations.

Rebecca McLaughlin: People are often surprised to hear that we find the first African Christian in the Book of Acts, the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8. So this idea that Christianity really sort of began as a white, Western religion and then was exported as an act of cultural imperialism to places like Africa actually doesn't really wash if you look at the deep history of the text.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Then we need to look around ourselves at the global Church today and realize, "Gosh," the most typical Christian both in the world today and in America is actually a woman of color. Ironically, atheism is the worldview most associated with white Western men and communist regimes. So, in general, women are often more religious than men, but the effect is particularly pronounced with Christianity, and it seems that Christianity has always been a majority female movement.

Rebecca McLaughlin: So people who care about sort of diversity, when it comes to gender, need to pay a little more attention there. But then when it comes to race, I mean, sadly it is white Westerners who are becoming less religious, and that's truly something to lament. Christianity is declining in the white, Western world. But, on the other hand, Christianity is thriving and growing both globally and among black and brown folk in America and also my country.

Scott Rae: Rebecca, let me take the material on women just a little bit further. The chapter in your book on the question of whether Christianity denigrates women or not I think is a really important one, but you look at it a little bit differently, I think, than most people do. You look at it by looking at the big story of the Bible overall. Help us see how your discussion of Christianity and women fits with the overall big story of the Bible, like you describe.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I think this is the cornerstone both for how we think about men and women and for how we think about sexuality, actually. The Bible tells a story in which male and female have theological meaning, actually, primarily because of the metaphor of God as a faithful husband and His people as His wife. We see this in the Old Testament as prophet after prophet compares God to this faithful, loving husband and Israel, his people, to an often unfaithful wife. Then we see Jesus step into human history and declare Himself to be the bridegroom, and we're thinking, "Okay, well, what's that about?" It's sort of a slightly strange claim. But if you have that Old Testament lens in place, then you realize, "Okay, this is one of the ways in which He's actually claiming to be stepping into God's role."

Rebecca McLaughlin: Then we see that extraordinary chapter in Ephesians 5 when Paul compares or describes human marriage as almost like a little scale model of Jesus's love for His Church, Jesus's marriage to his people. Then in the Book of Revelation, we see an announcement that the wedding of the Lamb has come, and Jesus is married to His Church, bringing heaven and Earth back together.

Rebecca McLaughlin: So we have this big picture, this big love story going on throughout the pages of Scripture that positions God as in the role of husband and us as in the role of His bride. When we have that in place and when we recognize that, actually, the Gospel of Jesus's love for us and His sacrifice for us lies at the very heart of God's whole picture of humanity and creation of humanity, even from the first, that reshapes how we think about what it means to be a man or a woman and what sexual or romantic relationships mean.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I think we've done a good job in Church history of teaching that the Bible says that God is our Father, and so, as we think about the best possible human father, that maybe gives us a little, tiny glimpse of God's love for us. We actually see the metaphor of God as Mother several times in the Old Testament as well. So the best possible human parent gives us a little picture of what it means for us to be loved by God as His children.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I think we have under-taught the other metaphor, or one of other metaphors, which is God as husband lover and us as wife beloved. I think if we put that at the center of our understanding of what it means to be male or female, what sexuality means, that then allows everything else to click into place.

Scott Rae: So, since you mentioned Ephesians 5, our listeners would not forgive us if we let you off the hook without asking you to make sense of the passage in Ephesians 5 that mandates, "Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord." So help us fit that into this big picture that you've already described.

Rebecca McLaughlin: When I first seriously read Ephesians 5, I was an undergraduate at Cambridge University. I'd come from a single-sex, very academic school, and the verse, "Wives, submit to your husbands as the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the Church," it was kind of like a sock between the eyes. It was not a pleasant experience. I'd read in the Gospel of Jesus consistently elevating women in defiance of the cultural norms of his day, and here, it seemed, was Paul squashing women down again

Rebecca McLaughlin: I would have eagerly accepted any interpretation of that verse that wasn't, "Okay, it's saying that wives should submit to their husbands." I looked for those options, and I found it really hard. I think the transition came from me when I read on in that passage, and it sort of sounds silly to say. I mean, clearly, I read the whole passage in the first place, but I was so shocked and almost concussed by that first verse that I don't think I really listened to the rest.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Paul goes on, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her." As I pondered on that, I thought, "Okay, how does Christ love the church and give Himself up for her? He dies for her. He submits to death, naked and bleeding on a cross, in utter physical and emotional and spiritual agony for us." I thought, "How would I feel if that was the role given to wives? 'Wives, submit to your husband, and wives, love your husbands as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. Wives, put your husband's needs above your own, being willing to taste death for them and sacrifice yourself on their behalf'?" I thought, "Oh, that actually sounds more like a mandate for spousal abuse than what the Bible actually says," and that's sometimes one of the charges against this passage, telling wives submit to their husbands is basically enabling abusive men.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Clearly, that verse has been used by abusive men in horrible ways, but, actually, anyone who is truly reading that passage for what it's worth and anyone who truly looks to Jesus as the ideal man and the ideal husband, which is how the New Testament presents Him, cannot conclude that husbands are to oppress their wives or to put their own needs first or to assert their superiority. Actually, quite the reverse, and I think when I started to understand, "No, this is not about gendered psychology. It's actually about Christ-centered theology," I was able to breathe a sigh of relief and say, "Okay, 'Wives, submit to your husbands' is not about women being less intelligent than men or less good at decision-making or less X, Y, or Z than men. It's actually about us picturing, for the Church, how we submit to Christ."

Rebecca McLaughlin: I've had a recent transition, just even in the last few years. I've been married now for 12 years to a really good man, and we Christians are always looking for guidance from God and sort of somewhat wishing that there would be, I don't know, a cloud formation in the sky telling us, giving us guidance in hard situations we find ourselves in. I realized in the last couple of years that when I'm in a hard situation, I can ask Brian for his view of it, and because of the promises of God and because of that passage in Ephesians 5, I can kind of expect to get some insight from the Lord through that process, which, again, is not to say that everybody speaks the words of God, to his wife regardless of whether he's commending sin or whatever terrible thing he might possibly be saying.

Rebecca McLaughlin: But, actually, if you're married to a man who is, however imperfectly, seeking to follow the Lord in prayer and a diligent study of the Scripture, you kind of have the blessing of being able to go to him and saying, "Hey, I don't know what to do in this situation. Can you tell me?" and taking that as a word from the Lord.

Sean McDowell: That's powerful. I appreciate, especially, the larger balance you bring, that we can't take this passage apart from the larger themes of Scripture ...

Rebecca McLaughlin: Right.

Sean McDowell: ... and who Christ is. So that's really helpful. Thanks for bringing that to bear. I have one more question for you, and kind of a two-part question. Number one is the question, isn't Christianity homophobic? Now, my two-part question is I'm curious. You mentioned at the beginning of the book just kind of briefly about same-sex attraction, and then you say, "I'll get back to this in Chapter Nine." That part of your life doesn't dominate the book, and I thought, "Gosh, she could have totally left that out. Could have made it dominate the book." So I'm curious why you integrated it the way that you did and then, just second, how you answer that charge that Christianity is homophobic.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Gosh. How long do we have? So, number one ...

Scott Rae: 30 seconds of less.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I put it in the introduction or in the beginning of the first chapter because I thought, "Gosh, I was a really boring" ... My story is actually really dull. So I mention this here, because then people will have something slightly more interesting than if this was just a very keen Christian girl, coming into college.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I think this is one of the biggest questions of our day and one of the ways in which Christianity, in the eyes of many around us, just falls flat on its face, the idea that Christians, for no apparent reason other than homophobia and fear of otherness, seek to constrain sexuality. In particular, there's some extent to which my non-Christian friends could understand Christians saying sex should only be in marriage, that there's a fundamental importance of commitment and not promiscuity. But why we would say, "Actually, marriage also must be between one man and one woman versus between two men or two women," that just seems unfair and prejudiced and all the bad things.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I think in order to have any credibility and Gospel-center us in that conversation with our friends, number one, we need to do the work, explaining, "Actually, the Christian view of sexuality is more weird than you think," because it's fundamentally about Christ and the church, not about men and women.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Number two, I think we need to look carefully at how the New Testament handles this question and recognize the New Testament was written into a culture where same-sex sexual experiences were fairly normal, not for Jews, but in the Greco-Roman world in which the first Christians were living, the idea that a man was meant to be faithful to his wife was strange and bizarre. It was fine for men to sleep with other women, but it was also fine for them to sleep with other men. There was a, a level of acceptance of same-sex sexual activity we might be surprised by, with our modern sort of preconceptions of what the first century was like.

Rebecca McLaughlin: So the New Testament is written into a world where there's a lot of sex going on between all sorts of people and in all sorts of ways. One of the shocking moves that the early Church makes is actually to come up with this or advocate for sex only being between one man and one woman, in the context of marriage. It's a shocking thing.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Then we need to look at the question of, "Well, are Christians being judgemental and superior and looking down on others when you prescribe this for Christians?" I think there, it's very interesting, even when you read, for example, Paul's first letter to Timothy, which is one of the places where he mentions the prohibition on homosexual relationships. In the very same chapter ... That's chapter one, verse 10. In chapter one, verse 15, Paul says that Christ Jesus came to save sinners, of whom he is the foremost. So this idea that Christians are coming with a posture of, "Well, I'm better than you are" or "I'm morally pure, and you gay people out there are morally impure" doesn't actually wash with even the Scriptural texts that address this in particular.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I recognize that, within the Church, within any church of any substantial size, there will be Christians, like me, who, for whatever reason, and I frankly think whether it's a genetic predisposition or a cultural environment, so whatever experiences, all of that is almost irrelevant. The reality is that there are people like me who are oriented towards romantic and/or sexual relationships with those of the same sex, primarily, and that's the reality within the church. So it's not just a kind of them and us, like, "There are the Christians over here and the LGBT community over there."

Rebecca McLaughlin: It's actually there are Christians within your church who experience same-sex attraction, and the reality is all of us, as Christians, are going to be called to say no to attractions, whether we're straight, whether we're same-sex attracted, whether we're attracted to people of both sexes. Jesus actually calls all of us to self-denial in this area and to only focus our sexual desires on, at most, one other person, to whom we're married.

Rebecca McLaughlin: So this isn't natural for any of us, really. I mean, there are few straight men who are naturally monogamous. So I think, to some extent, we're all in the same boat, but I think we also need to live like that. We need to stop treating Christians who experience same-sex attraction differently from Christians who struggle with sort of other-sex attractions. I think we need to be people who will gladly listen to the struggles of our brothers and sisters in a way that is encouraging and nonjudgmental, just as we would listen to anyone struggling in any area of sin, and I think we need to come alongside each other with encouragement toward Christ.

Rebecca McLaughlin: I think, ultimately, Christians who are saying no to same-sex desire because they believe in the better love of Jesus are the most powerful witness to our culture today.

Sean McDowell: Wow. That is a strong word to end on. I appreciate you saying that, and that raises a ton of questions that I would have for you that maybe we can unpack another time in the future.

Sean McDowell: Rebecca, Scott and I and just the larger team at Biola are so thankful for your voice. We appreciate you speaking Biblical truth, not shying away from these tough issues, but approaching it Biblically and compassionately in the way we aim to do here at Biola as well. So I want to commend your book, Confronting Christianity, to those who are listening. Great book for Christians to work through if you have tough questions you want answers to, or consider giving it to a friend who's not a believer and say, "Hey, would you read a chapter once a week or once a month? Let's just talk about this together." That's why she wrote the book. So, Rebecca, thanks so much for coming on.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Thank you.

Sean McDowell: This has been an episode of the podcast Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith and Culture. To learn more about us and today's guest, Rebecca McLaughlin, and to find more episodes, go to That's If you enjoyed today's conversation, give us a rating on your podcast app, and please consider sharing it with a friend. Thanks for listening, and remember, think Biblically about everything.