When the conversation turns to religion and it’s time to defend Christianity are you at a loss for words? I know that I often am — until that night trying to go to sleep when I think of what I should have said. It’s frustrating, and I feel like I should have done better. Gregory Koukl has written a book, TACTICS, that will guide you in how to handle those situations when you have a chance to stick up for Jesus and help guide another soul to Christ.
The answer isn’t to deluge them with Bible quotes and assorted facts. That will most likely get you ignored or labeled a nutcase. The answer is to ask them questions about what they believe and to gradually let them see the fallacies and contradictions inherent in their position. Chances are good that a lot of what they say is the “party line” and that they have never really thought about it. Getting them to think so they can explain their position to you can cause them to see they might be wrong about Christ.
TACTICS is divided into two sections, first is the Game Plan, how to deal with the non-believer and guide them along towards the Truth of Christ Jesus. The second section outlines several classes of fallacies that are internally inconsistent or that if followed to their logical conclusion make no sense.
Asking thoughtful questions based on the flaws in someones positions (flaws which the second part of the book will help you detect) can lead them to begin questioning their unbelief. It should always be done in a kind and considerate manner, not used as a bludgeon. After all, we are Christians and chances are that others are listening in to the conversation. We don’t want to cause the person we are talking to to dig in their heels and refuse to listen, and we want the observers to see us as reasonable and decent folks with honest convictions. You may not have an immediately discernible impact on the person you are talking to, but you may have planted a seed in their mind that the Holy Spirit can work on.
The tactical advice is excellent and I know it will help me in the future. In closing I want to mention what touched me the most powerfully. You don’t need to close the deal and get a conversion and profession of faith on the spot. Your job is to put a question in their mind. That question will become a “stone in their shoe” that can open the door for the Holy Spirit to step in and invite them into the fellowship of believers. Only God can close the deal, the Christians job is to be “clear, gracious, and persuasive.” Not everyone is ready to hear the Gospel and you have to accept it, but be on the lookout for those who are open to accept Jesus.
If you want to be better prepared to discuss your Christian Convictions, you should read TACTICS by Gregory Koukl. There is nothing in the methodology of this book that limits TACTICS to the defense of Christianity, it applies equally to the defense of any logically held position.
I plan to read through TACTICS again to reinforce what Koukl has to say so that I am better prepared to defend Christ than from a single reading.
Who Is This Man?:
The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus
by John Ortberg
About 2100 years ago Caesar Augustus was the most powerful man on earth. Everyone knew who he was, and his word was law. Like all other men, he died. As time went on his impact on the world began to fade. Another man of the time was Jesus of Nazareth. He had no position of power in the world. He never wrote a book. He had a few students who followed him around for a couple of years before he was executed as a criminal and they all scattered. But today the influence of Jesus is everywhere, and he has more followers than ever. Caesar Augustus is most known today for ordering the census mentioned in the story of Jesus’s birth.
In Who Is This Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus John Ortberg shows how through the years the teachings of the humble carpenter who grew up in Nazareth have shaped history, science, and western civilization. I am a Christian and familiar with the life of Jesus from the New Testament. This book astounded me with how pervasive the impact of Jesus’s life and teachings have been throughout the entire span of history since his death on the cross.
Who Is This Man tells the story of Jesus’s continuing and growing impact on civilization in flowing prose that is easy and enjoyable to read, with a comprehensive bibliography for the scholarly inclined reader.
Who Is This Man is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in how civilization as we know it today came to be.
Three Books of Christian Apologetics
As a Christian I have always been made a little uneasy by the concept of Christian Apologetics. Why should anyone have to apologize for the truth? More recently, however, I have taken the time to actually read some books on the subject.
Jesus On Trial
In September, 2014, David Limbaugh published Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel which I saw advertised as part of a significant marketing campaign. I was intrigued, bought a copy, and read it. I was impressed and overwhelmed by the volume and variety of the evidence presented for the existence of Jesus Christ, His death, and His resurrection. The book does an excellent job demonstrating that the Christ Jesus presented in the four Gospel books of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John truly existed and rose from the dead. It also shows the New Testament we have today has remained virtually unchanged from what was originally written. Also, the information in the New Testament matches up seamlessly with the other information available about events in the world during the time of Christ. Jesus on Trial is a powerful book and worth reading.
Faith on Trial
I get email everyday from bookbub.com with Your ebook bargains for Tuesday (or whatever day of the week it happens to be) listing ebooks that I can get for free or for greatly reduced rates. Faith on Trial: Analyze the Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus showed up in one of those emails. I was intrigued by the similarity between Jesus On Trial and Pamela Binnings Ewen’s Faith on Trial. Both authors are lawyers and both were written to present a case for the truth behind Christianity. I paid the limited time bargain price the bookbub.com email told me about and started reading.