Strategy: “Why do you believe that?”

At Search relationships are at the core of what we do and believe. We have seen time and again that connecting in local communities and creating safe places for big conversations is vital for spiritual development… But it’s not always easy to earn the trust that it takes to get there! Many people pass in and out of our lives without much opportunity for a deep relationship to take root. But that does not mean that we don’t have opportunities to help those individuals take their next step towards God.

So let’s talk about making the most of those conversations with unbelievers.

I want to encourage all of us to work out a simple plan ahead of time so that we are always prepared to make a defense for the hope that we have in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:15). We don’t know when the next opportunity is going to come, so it’s iumpo to spend some time working out a game plan now.

And the game plan I want to suggest is simple and, hopefully, easy to remember. There’s 3 parts:

  1. Know why you believe what you believe. Fulfill the biblical mandate to worship the Lord your God with all of your mind. And, in this process, wrestle with your own doubts and questions… Then watch how God will draw you in to a deeper relationship with himself!

    The best part about being a Christian is the experience of a relationship with the living God… However, we should also be prepared to marshal reason and evidence when the need arises.
  2. Know how to play offense without being offensive. A worldview, at a minimum, helps us make sense of our own existence, the world around us, and our place in it. Thus, all worldviews must answer the same foundational questions. Who are we? Why are we here? What is ‘the good life’? What happens to us when we die? And so on.

    Many worldviews struggle so mightily to answer these basic questions that their adherents unconsciously “steal” ideas from the Christian worldview – especially as it concerns beliefs about right and wrong.

    Keep following Neillology to learn how to identify when others have borrowed resources from Christianity that secular ideologies can not provide.
  3. And – most importantly – Ask questions! That’s what is going to tie the plan together.

    How do we translate our knowledge and experience of God into productive conversations? 

    I suggest that we start with the goal in mind.  We’re not just interested in giving an answer or winning a debate – we want to persuade people to think seriously about Jesus. And we want to do this with gentleness and respect. Which means that we must take a high view of people… and this cannot be faked!

    Ultimately, hearts are going to be won for Christ thru the work of the Holy Spirit, but apologetics has a role to play in removing barriers so that transformations can happen. And the good news is that, regardless of your comfort level with apologetics, everyone is capable of asking questions. You can do this!

    Asking questions is critically important for several reasons. 
    1. It helps us gather Information
      • Most of the time, you will need to refine an objection before you know how to respond to it. It also helps you buy time to think!
    2. Asking questions helps you keep the burden of proof where it belongs
      • This is important to understand – the burden of proof is on the person who makes the claim. In most cases, the person raising the objection will be making a claim. Identify those claims and ask them to support their claims with reasons.
    3. Asking strategic questions IS the method by which we go on offense without being offensive. Asking genuine questions is polite. It shows interest in the other person’s perspective. 
      • There are 2 really simple model questions for this:  Why do you believe that? and What do you mean by that?

        You can respond to almost every objection to Christianity with a variation of these two questions. It’s easy.

2 responses to “Strategy: “Why do you believe that?””

  1. It’s so important to not just feel God, but to understand more of Him intellectually.

    These are easy and practical steps to help keep the conversation going. To really emp

    Liked by 1 person

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