On Monday I met up with pastors John Burke and Eric Bryant of Gateway Church here in Austin to film a Q&A session for the Explore God campaign. Burke, Bryant, and the moderator Bridget Henderson have done an amazing job with this series, so it was an honor to be a part of it.
The question for this session was, “Is it possible to have a personal relationship with God?” Here’s the video if you’d like to check it out:
A few of the many questions we discussed were:
- Richard Dawkins says belief in God is delusional. But most Americans believe they have a personal relationship with God. Are they all delusional? (0:35)
- Our planet is so small in the grand scheme of things. Does the idea that the Creator of the universe wants to know us personally come from an over-inflated sense of self? (4:04)
- If God wants a personal relationship with us, why doesn’t he make his presence more obvious? (6:22)
- With all the terrible things going on in the world, does God care about the details of our lives? (23:20)
- For someone who would like a relationship with God but has no idea where to start, what is the first step? (32:50)
- “It seems impossible to have a personal relationship with somebody who won’t talk with you coherently, won’t talk with you at all, and who won’t answer your really tough questions.” (44:10)
- The vast majority of Americans believe that God answers prayers. Isn’t that easy for us to say since we have comfortable, wealthy lives? (51:05)
- Why would a loving God send anyone to hell? (58:00)
If you have your own thoughts about these or any of the other topics addressed in the video, feel free to share! (And if you have constructive criticism about any of our answers, go easy on us — it’s surprisingly difficult to address these kinds of topics off the top of your head.)
Meanwhile, I’m going to be running around like crazy trying to get ready to go to Bismarck (otherwise known as the last time I attempt to leave the house ever, ever again).
I hope you enjoy the discussion!