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A Conversation. Between an Agnostic and a Christian. The “Traditional” Apologetic. Know what you believe Know why you believe it Study other belief systems Memorize how to refute them Look for a ‘victim’ Wait for a ‘trigger’ Pounce!. An Example.

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a conversation

A Conversation

Between an Agnostic and a Christian

the traditional apologetic
The “Traditional” Apologetic
  • Know what you believe
  • Know why you believe it
  • Study other belief systems
  • Memorize how to refute them
  • Look for a ‘victim’
  • Wait for a ‘trigger’
  • Pounce!
an example
An Example
  • Here’s a dialog like many you may have had, trying to defend your faith with a typical unbeliever
  • It rarely (if ever) works
  • It often ends up in an argument
    • The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, (2Ti 2:24-25 NASB)
  • It is frustrating
    • You often feel that somehow you could have done better, had a better answers, etc.
a better way
A Better Way….
  • Conversational Apologetics
    • Be At Ease (relax)
    • Be Patient (if they are Christ’s own, they aren’t going anywhere until they are saved)
    • Be a good listener
    • Be a friend
      • But challenge when you need to
    • Be ready! (always!)
conversational apologetics
Conversational Apologetics
  • Open Questions
    • To understand and know them
  • Pointed Questions
    • To remove the “roof” of their irrational assumptions
  • Explain the Gospel
    • Only when asked
  • Nurture The Relationship
    • Help unbelievers grow towards Christ
    • Help believers to grow IN Christ
open questions
Open Questions
  • What do you think?
  • What do you believe?
  • What do you mean?
  • How does that work?
  • Why does that bother you?
  • Why do you say that?
pointed questions
Pointed Questions
  • How did you reach that conclusion?
  • How do you know that’s true?
  • How does that work?
  • What is the source of your information?
  • What if you’re wrong?
explain the gospel
Explain the Gospel
  • Way of the Master
  • Discipleship Evangelism
  • The “Romans Road”
  • Your testimony
  • ….BUT….
only when asked
Only When Asked!
  • There are two principles of apologetics taught in 1 Peter 3:15
    • Share the Gospel when asked
      • If they ask you, you have permission to say anything you want!
    • Be ready with an answer
      • They may ask you some pointed questions
        • Study (“Nothing comes from nothing”)
        • “That’s a great question. Let me get back to you on that.”
nurture the relationship
Nurture the Relationship

If they become a Christian….

    • Disciple them
      • Get them in a good church
      • Help them study the Bible
      • Pray for them
  • If they remain an unbeliever…
    • Stay on friendly terms
    • It’s never too late!
another example
Another Example
  • Let’s go back through the previous example and see if we can come up with some questions that might get the conversation moving in a more positive direction…
how would you respond
How Would You Respond?
  • Have you heard about that court case in – where it is? – Kentucky? I can’t believe that in the 21st Century, we’re STILL arguing about teaching Creationism in a Science class! It’s ridiculous! Religion and Science are two different things.
typical response
Typical Response
  • Actually, there’s a lot of scientific evidence that God created the universe.
how would you respond1
How Would You Respond?
  • Oh, no! You’re not a fundamentalist Christian are you?
typical response1
Typical Response
  • Well, as a matter of fact, I am. But you know, there’s a lot of evidence that God created the universe.
how would you respond2
How Would You Respond?
  • Evidence? I’m talking SCIENTIFIC evidence. You know, something that you can prove.
typical response2
Typical Response
  • Oh, you mean SCIENTIFIC, like THEORY of evolution?
how would you respond3
How Would You Respond?
  • Yes, exactly. Like the THEORY of Gravity! We may not know all the details of how gravity works, but we know THAT it works. We can prove it. And the same is true of evolution.
typical response3
Typical Response
  • Actually, a lot of scientists are beginning to doubt whether evolution can be proven. They think that an objective review of the evidence leads away from evolution and towards intelligent design.
how would you respond4
How Would You Respond?
  • A lot MORE scientists still believe the evidence proves evolution, and a handful of Christians who happen to have degrees in the sciences and are letting their faith overcome their reason can not prove otherwise.
typical response4
Typical Response
  • I’d say it’s the secular scientists that are letting THEIR faith overcome their reason. Take a look at the cell. Back in Darwin’s day, he could assume that the cell evolved from non-living material because he thought the cell was pretty simple. I remember reading in science textbooks how the “building blocks of life” naturally evolved into “SIMPLE, single-celled organisms.” But modern microbiology has overturned the myth of the simple cell. The cell is actually a complex biochemical factory with thousands of interdependent elements. All of those elements had to be there AT THE SAME TIME for the cell to function. For it to live. Modern scientists who step back for a minute and consider the amazing complexity of the cell realize that it is far too complex to have evolved. They compare it to other complex systems we find in the world, all of which were designed by an intelligent designer for a specific purpose, and conclude – quite scientifically – that the cell must have been designed by an intelligent designer, too: God!
how would you respond5
How Would You Respond?
  • Wow. That’s a big leap you’re making, there. Just because we don’t understand all the complexities of how the cell evolved, that doesn’t mean we can just arbitrarily say some supernatural creator made it. Science is continually refining itself as new information becomes available. Back when they thought the sun revolved around the earth, there was evidence that it really didn’t happen that way. But they didn’t conclude that God was magically moving the planets – they just refined their explanation to account for the evidence – that the earth really goes around the sun.
typical response5
Typical Response
  • But that’s exactly what I’m talking about – refining the explanation. If evolution can’t account for the origin of complex cells and intelligent design can, shouldn’t we “refine” our explanation for the origin of the cell?
how would you respond6
How Would You Respond
  • Well, maybe we should – but we don’t have to resort to mythology to do it! Look, if you want to believe in God, fine. I’ll stick with science. When science proves God exists, I’ll believe in God. The cell may be complex beyond belief, but that doesn’t PROVE God exists – it just proves we don’t know everything at this point.