I recently heard an interview with Dr. Darrell Bock on Ed Stetzer’s “The Exchange” podcast.
The interview was mainly about Bock’s book — Truth Matters.
What caught my attention was this interview followed right on the heels of the election in which Republican’s took over control of the Senate and House in decisive fashion. How does this relate to the election? Bock & Stetzer contend (and I agree) that Christians need to be careful about how we present political views. Facebook is full of “Christian” posts that simply do little more that belittle and blast the Left and Democrats. Stetzer notes that it is hard for unbelieving neighbors to relate to “Jesus Loves You” when his followers are calling them idiots on Facebook. Bock makes the point that we can stand for truth without being obnoxious or condescending about it.
What was important here is how Christians too often approach discussions about truth.
We tend to fall back on — “The Bible says it so I’m for it!“. We seek to convince our unchurched friends with arguments that amount to basically — “The Bible says it so you should believe it“. The problem is these friends and neighbors are uncertain the Bible has any validity or hold on truth.
The reality is that we live in society that is more and more skeptical of anything Christian. While we cannot abandon defense of the Gospel and Faith – we need to get more involved with questioning and discussing life presuppositions before trying to prove Christianity’s truth. There is a place for “proving” these truths. But first we have to bring our friends to a point of questioning and/or seeing points of truth that cause them to say, “OK, let me take a closer look at this”.
By that I mean we discuss openly and honestly the assumptions about truth and religion that surround us and point toward the contexts in which The Faith does match up with what proves to be, or is accepted as, true. (See Andy Stanley’s preaching for good examples). As people of faith we should begin by showing our neighbors and friends ways in which their suppositions about life and spiritual things may not work and give them permission to either belief what we present or not. (Again — see Andy Stanley for some good examples as well as his book Deep and Wide.)
What I am trying to say is this:
Unbelievers will act like unbelievers. They don’t come from a worldview that matches ours. So they believe, and act upon those beliefs, in ways that we may find offensive. Hitting them over the head with a Bible doesn’t solve the problem.
For example — recently in a break room discussion one self-proclaimed atheist noted that there is no ultimate truth and everyone should be free to choose what they believe to be true.
As a Christian I could have immediately jumped in with an argument about how the Bible is truth and Christ is the embodiment of all truth — yes, there is truth and those who reject it are condemned…..Or……
I asked what happens if I accept his philosophy — what would we do with the person who believes being a child molester is his truth? What do we do with the person who believes in White Supremacy?
After some discussion it comes out that even the atheist believes there are some things that are just WRONG! “Everyone knows that!”
So you ask — where did that moral standard come from? And so the discussion goes.
Eventually we will get to God as the creator of truth. In fact I think my friend is already there — he is just afraid to voice that concept. He is having trouble accepting that there just may be a standard for truth. In this post-Christian society we should be constantly asking questions that challenge beliefs, but in a manner that allows for thought and discussion.
The Bible is true — but not everyone can handle the truth ……. Yet.!