An Apologetic Approach to Witnessing
This article was originally published as a part of the series titled “Just A Thought”
The simple fact that man desires to believe in something means something. We have a golden opportunity in “our time” to help men sort out their confusion about reality, life, meaning, purpose, and spirituality.
- Relevance: People are trying to solve their problems, not ours. We must address the questions non-believers are asking, not the questions they are not asking. Give men what they need (the historic, orthodox gospel of Jesus) in the context of what they want (better marriages, well adjusted children, meaningful work, an ordered world, etc.).
- Credibility: We must apply a rigorous scholarship that keeps up with the current thinking. Be cautious when the argument for something is no stronger than the argument against it. Are there not too many shallow, “sound bite” answers these days?
- Relationship: We must fully understand what the non-believer is saying so they can say of us, “Yes, that’s what I’m saying — that’s my position,” before we will be heard. This usually has to be earned by honest listening.
- Truth: We must be relevant. Francis Schaeffer said, “Each generation of the church in each setting has the responsibility of communicating the gospel in understandable terms, considering the language and thought forms of that setting.” But we must be relevant while never compromising what is real, or true.
- The Message: What is the actual message we have to offer? Tell men, “God loves you. He wants you to find a success that matters. Here’s how….” (more on this in the next Just a Thought).
And what if you are then rejected? As someone has said, “I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail.”