I think I have an easier time than most for engaging others in spiritual conversations. It isn't because I'm any more eloquent or anything. It's simply my job description. Take last week, when my I accompanied my wife to the dentist. The hygienist asked me what type of work I did, since I was able to work from home. I told her I was an apologist and she responded the way most people do; she asked "What's that?" I told her that apologetics is the discipline of providing reasons for one's beliefs using logic and evidence like a defense lawyer would offer. She told me she was agnostic and we began talking about presuppositions and beliefs.
Many Christians would love to get into spiritual
conversations like the one above but really don't know how to go about it. So I thought I would
provide some suggestions on ways I engage others. Lee Strobel tells an amusing anecdote
of hearing a girl ask "What's a deist?" when walking into a restaurant. He says
he immediately stops and spent the next 15-20 minutes deconstructing deism for
her. It wasn't until afterwards that his friend corrected him. "Lee, she didn't
ask ‘What's a deist?' She said ‘Buenos días!'"
One of the ways I get into conversations is to listen for ways I can jump into topics people are already interested in. While it may be
difficult to stumble onto someone who is already discussing religious beliefs,
it shouldn't be terribly hard to strike up a conversation about the events of
the day. For example, one hot topic
that's being talked about almost incessantly right now is the Donald Sterling issue.
Sterling has made some disparaging and racist comments and it has caused a
whirlwind, especially since the billionaire makes money by owning
the Los Angeles Lakers. So, immediately you can talk about whether Sterling is
being consistent in his beliefs, how sin can affect everyone, and how money or
success is not an indicator of whether a person is worthy to be emulated.
The fact that this
Monday is Memorial Day, where we honor those who gave their lives for our
freedom, is another opportunity to talk about sacrifice, honor, what values are
held higher than life itself. We believe that it is honorable to give
one's life for a true ideal. Why is this so? Do you think that "one laying down
his life for his friends" is an act that has eternal implications? What about
the fact that the unalienable rights that those men and women fought to protect
were "endowed by our Creator" according to the Declaration of Independence? If
God doesn't exist and every man is out for himself, does that make a difference
as to whether we should expect others to fight for our freedoms?
2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us to "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." Therefore,
when wanting to have spiritual conversations, one should prepare and know
what's going on in the world. Subscribe to a good newspaper, and look it over
daily. A news source that covers a wide range of issues and holds bylines from
real people is important, even if you don't agree with some of the opinions
presented there. Find two or three blogs that discuss some of the key topics of
the day. Make sure they can accurately represent both sides of an issue. Also,
keep your eye on topics explored on popular movies, books, or television shows.
These can help provide more sources where you can launch into a discussion.
Praise the Lord.ReplyDelete
Love the article, Will you pray about bringing the Apologetics ministry to Harvest Orange County?ReplyDelete
Thanks Amy! I'm more than willing to come to the OC each month. E-mail me and perhaps we can make it happen.ReplyDelete
Please, would you please suggest me 2 or 3 blogs?ReplyDelete
Although I am Brazilian, I believe they could help.
The most essential thing people do together is impart. Dialect helps structure and keep up connections. Jesus, in the scriptures, had profound discussions with his teaches, the Pharisees, delinquents, and every one of the individuals who approached him. Consider the cozy discussion with the lady at the well. This sort of profound discussion was extremely paramount to St. Ignatius' mission in the Society of JesusReplyDelete
Saint Kirpal Singh