Difficult Questions about the Person and Character of God

Resources Curated around Challenging Questions about the Nature of God

Curated by Phil Thompson & Jennifer Brogdon

Is the God of the Bible the Same as the God of the Qu'ran?

Christians worship God. Muslims worship “Allah” which means god. Are they the same?

Culturally, it’s expected that the answer is an absolute and unqualified “yes.” The assumption is that all people are at the base of a mountain, taking many paths up to the same God at the top of the mountain. But this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you read the Qu’ran or spend enough time discussing with those of Islamic faith, you will see the striking difference between the God of the Bible and Allah of the Qu’ran. The following resources will help us understand this difference.


  • John Piper

  • Thabiti Anyabwile

  • Mark Dever

  • James White

What Does The Sovereignty Of God Mean? Am I A Robot?

God is sovereign over salvation. Does this claim cause you to recoil with concerns and questions? You wouldn’t be alone if you did. The term most rightly means that God is in control. Because we humans naturally desire to be our own master, this proves difficult to accept. Therefore, it takes the supernatural work of God to desire a life of full surrender to another–to God himself.

Does this mean we walk around like robots controlled by God? Do we have a free will at all? The resources below will help answer these questions and more about the meaning of divine sovereignty.

  • Ligon Duncan

  • John Piper

  • Tim Keller

Why Does The Bible Present God Focusing So Much Attention On Himself?

When someone talks about self, wants glory for self, or acts on the behalf of self, it exposes his or her arrogance and selfishness. Is it okay for God to do this? Is he arrogant or selfish for it?

God clearly places the focus of his revelation on himself. The entire Bible, God’s written Word, centers on God from beginning to end. One example of God’s self-centered revelation–and the reason for that theocentric approach–is seen in Psalm 16:11 where it says,

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (ESV).

And not only does the Bible focus on God, so does his plan for mankind; every human is called to heed God’s command to love him with all their heart, mind, and strength and give him glory in doing so. So how is God’s focus on himself different from our efforts to do the same? The difference is that God deserves it and we don’t.

God makes much of himself because he knows we will have the most joy and satisfaction in him alone and simply because he’s worthy of all glory and praise.

  • John Piper

  • John Mahaffey

  • Matt Chandler

  • The Glory of God

    by Christopher W. Morgan (Editor), Robert A. Peterson (Editor), Tremper Longman (Contributor), Richard B., Jr. Gaffin (Contributor), Bryan Chapell (Contributor), Andreas J. Kostenberger (Contributor), Stephen J. Nichols (Contributor), Richard R. Melick Jr. (Contributor), J. Nelson Jennings (Contributor)

    by Christopher W. Morgan (Editor), Robert A. Peterson (Editor), Tremper Longman (Contributor), Richard B., Jr. Gaffin (Contributor), Bryan Chapell (Contributor), Andreas J. Kostenberger (Contributor), Stephen J. Nichols (Contributor), Richard R. Melick Jr. (Contributor), J. Nelson Jennings (Contributor)

  • God's Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan EdwardsJohn Piper

The Bible Often Mentions God’s Wrath — Why Does It Matter?

God’s Word describes his wrath burning hot against his enemies and consuming them (Exodus 32:10, ESV). It destroys (Deuteronomy 9:8, ESV). It’s fierce (2 Chronicles 28:11-13, ESV). Psalm 21:9 says,

“You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear. The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them.”

If we understand God’s wrath, it terrifies us (for good reason) knowing we deserve it because of our sin. Therefore, the Bible mentions it numerous times.

What more does the Bible say about God’s wrath and why does it really matter? The following resources help answer this question.

  • John Piper

  • Reddit Andrews

  • David Platt

  • Tom Schreiner

  • D.A. Carson - The Doctrine of the Wrath of GodRuntime: 12 min

Why Can’t God Eternally Love Those Who Don’t Believe in Him?

Have you ever heard that God loves everyone the same and with a love that is unconditional? Have you ever heard that God loves the sinner but hates the sin? But does the Bible say this? The following resources address these claims.


  • John Piper

  • David Platt

  • D.A. Carson - Does God Love the Sinner but Hate the Sin?Runtime: 20 min

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church often swings on a pendulum between neglect and mania. Who is the Holy Spirit and what is his role in the church today? Let’s examine this topic further.

  • Jeff Louie

  • J.I. Packer