A Game Plan for Discussing Your Beliefs
Followers of Christ are often reluctant to discuss their deeply held convictions with unbelievers. Sometimes we fear that such discussions will lead to fights and hurt feelings. Other times we are afraid we will not know how to answer the questions or objections that people raise. Often the thought of discussing our convictions overwhelms us, because we feel that it is our job to convince others to believe.
All of these fears and concerns make it difficult to follow the instructions of 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect….”
How would you respond to the following challenges from a friend or co-worker?
- “It’s not rational to believe in God. There is no proof that God exists.”
- “It is intolerant to say that Jesus is the only way to heaven. People who believe this are bigots.”
- “The Bible cannot possibly be God’s Word. It is filled with mistakes and outrageous claims.”
- “All religions are basically the same. All that matters is that we love others and be good people.”
- “I know the gospel is not true, because I’ve seen so many hypocrites in the church.”
- “The Christian faith is homophobic and oppressive to women.”
- “Science has proved the Bible to be false.”
Starting April 22, ACC will offer an on-line class called “Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions.” The class will meet by Zoom on six Thursday evenings at 7:45pm and be led by Rainy Worzella and David Ellis.
Using material by author and speaker Greg Koukl, the “Tactics” class will explore the subject of apologetics, which is the study of how to give clear and compelling reasons for one’s beliefs. Rather than filling us with pat answers to all the questions that might possibly be raised, this material is designed to teach a basic strategy for engaging others in conversation without being rude, getting defensive, or feeling threatened by questions they raise. What I appreciate about Koukl’s approach is that it is practical and respectful of others. Rather than arming us to win battles of the wit, Koukl trains us to speak with others winsomely and honestly. His approach involves asking questions and listening to others as much as giving them answers.