I’ve been having a ton of conversations with folks in our city over the last 6 months who deny Christ death for them. The conversations almost always go to things that most of us assume as believers. Things like:
- God exists
- The Bible is true
- God is good
- God is powerful
- Jesus is a real person
- Jesus died and rose from the dead
- God is happy with Jesus’ death for us
Almost everyone that is not a Christian that I’ve talked to in the last year challenges several of those statements. I’m hearing less and less that they deny their sin, hypocrisy of the church, ineffectiveness of the church to do social good. I’m sure some of that is there, but that is not what I’ve come up against. It’s more intellectual and less visceral.
Now I know the gospel is the power of God to salvation and no mode of apologetics or conversation or persuading is “the way of evangelism”. I think my view on that is explicit on this. However, a faithful and effective sharer of the gospel must be able to walk through these issues with those they talk with. Also, we’ll need to be able to ask those who don’t know Christ to come face to face with their beliefs, just at they ask us to. We’ll need a competent grasp of things like:
- Why do we believe in a god at all?
- Where did our Bible come from? Why these 66 books?
- The age old question: Why does God allow human suffering?
- The historical facts surrounding the person of Christ
- Why you believe the resurrection of Christ?
This is no longer becoming a necessity for those who are intellectual, it is becoming basic engagement of our culture in Huntington. This is the front end of where our city is going, even though about 10 years behind major cities.
I’ve pimped it before and I cannot do it enough. Buy Tim Keller’s book: The Reason for God. Also, I’d love the chance to work through all of this in a training group in order to equip you to engage your city. Email me if you’re interested: firstname.lastname@example.org.