Most Christians have trouble talking about God, even with people they care about deeply. Fear is a big part of this. Fear of rejection. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of not knowing what to say. For many, it can be immobilizing.
Evangelism is very different today than it was even 10 years ago. You can’t count of people having a Christian worldview or thinking that the Bible is an authority. When you try to talk about your Christian beliefs, you’re likely to get objections like:
The Bible is full of errors.
Science has shown there is no God.
Personally, I think abortion takes the life of an unborn child, but I think everyone should decide for themselves.
All religion is harmful.
While a knowledge of apologetics can help give you confidence in these types of conversations, there is one simple tactic that will help you regardless of what you know:
We always think and talk about “sharing our faith” like we’re the one doing all of the work, but what if it were a conversation instead of a monologue? What if we asked questions to determine what the other person currently believes and even used questions to make our points? If you’re asking questions, you don’t have to know nearly as much! Questions are less threatening, and everyone likes to talk about their opinions.
You can lead a person to certain realizations just by using questions and without making assertions. You don’t need to “swing for the fences” and try to get to “Jesus died on the cross for your sin” in every conversation. Just strive for helping them get one step closer to a belief in God — give them something to think about. Or as Greg Koukl would say, “Put a stone in their shoe.”
Let’s see how we can apply this approach to the statements above.
“The Bible is full of errors.”
Question: “What do you mean by errors?”
Question: “Can you point me to some of those errors?”
Many times, people are just parroting something they’ve heard from someone else. Engage with them on the specifics of their claim.
Question: “Does a book have to be perfect in order to teach us truth?”
We don’t hold that any other book has to be perfect in order to teach us reliable information.
“Science has shown there is no God.”
Question: “What lab experiment was done to prove that?”
Question: “How has science, which can only speak to the natural world, disproved the existence of the super-natural world?”
Question: “What do you mean by ‘science’?”
Most likely, the person will go on to describe something philosophical, not scientific, like, “only science can give us truth” or “there is no such thing as the supernatural”. Neither of which are scientific claims.
“Personally, I think abortion takes the life of an unborn child, but I think everyone should decide for themselves.”
Question: “Why do you think people should be allowed to kill children?”
Question: “So, you think unborn children are being murdered, and you don’t think we should stop it?”
These are basically restatements of what the person said, but it gets to the heart of the issue, and requires a response.
Question: “Should it be left up to individuals to decide if they can kill their toddlers too?”
“All religion is harmful.”
Question: “How did you come to that conclusion?”
In other words, what’s the evidence?
Question: “Have you considered that many religions give sacrificially to those in need?”
Now, I know some of these are weighty topics, but the last one – All religion is harmful – demonstrates how to handle an easier, less intense question. Next time you see an opportunity to start or enter into a conversation, take it! And use a question. Just try to find out the other person’s view, and, if you feel comfortable, use a question to make a point. Like: “Have you considered ____?”
So, what’s stopping you?
(See what I did there? I did it again too…)