Saturday, August 9, 2008

Talking like normal human beings

The Internet Monk has a great post on talking with post-modern, entertainment drenched, happy-go-lucky folks and asks, "Why can’t we just talk like human beings talk to one another?" The 'we' he mentions refers to 'Christians.' What prompts his question are the canned approaches to evangelism and the seeming inability (unwillingess?) of Christians to actually listen to non-Christians.
The iMonk opines,
"It’s as if we don’t believe non-Christians can be talked to on their own terms. We have to pull them into our presentation; into our “script.” They have to become the subject of our questions. They must be the dummies and we must be the ventriloquists. Evangelism training, preaching and apologetics must create some kind of a “subject” willing to allow, hear and answer the right questions. “Canned” presentations seem to be primarily about the Christians need to dominate a conversation. These all betray our fears that we may not be able to control what is presented or the conversations that might follow."
And he concludes:
"If we take seriously the unbelief of unbelievers, then we pray, share the Gospel and do so in a way that is completely incarnational. We do not make them into projects. We fully humanize the process of evangelism, and we take unbelief seriously....

"The God-shaped void is absolutely there. It is the HUMAN PERSON! But it is not a void…it is someone made in God’s image, a person loved by God; a person for whom Christ did all his mediating work. This person and their beliefs (or lack of beliefs) are not a threat to us. We do not need to manipulate or control them. We can allow them to have their life, their journey and their experiences. We do not need to demand anything of them for us to present/represent Christ to them.

"Yes. Today’s young people are bored with God. They are not “seeking” God at all, but are living on the hardened surface of a fallen human experience, seeking to make sense of what is incomprehensible apart from Christ. We cannot “create” interest apart from the work of the Spirit. Our calling to be witnesses is not to approach the world like cattle to be herded, but as persons to be loved in the way God loves this fallen world through Jesus Christ...."
Check it out.

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