How can we persuade the secular world about God and faith?

Reposted from the Kineti blog and authored by Judah Gabriel Himango, one of Tabernacle of David’s teachers.

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Q. “How can I speak with atheists about God and faith?”

A. “Just show them this YouTube clip of [discredited sensationalistic religious guy with zero scientific or academic credentials.] IT’S UNDENIABLE!!11”

This is actual, bona fide advice religious people give when confronted with the question of how to engage the secular world. And it’s terribly ineffective.

How can we impact people outside our religious niche? How should we live so as to reflect Messiah well to the increasingly secular world?

I discuss this on the Conversations with the Bible podcast below:

Host Ryan White and I chat about:

  • Relaxing our religious stringency that everything in the Bible must be literal and historical. (e.g. parables are not historical; nor many of the Psalms literal.)
  • How the Bible uses narratives, both historical and fictional, to change minds.
  • How to speak to people on their level, in their terminology, about God and faith. Exemplified by Billy Graham.
  • How loving your neighbor has a lifelong impact on the recipients of that love.
  • Human evil, why the Bible’s book of Revelation encourages believers to stand up to evil, and why many of the worst atrocities in human history are committed by atheists with absolute power. (Corollary: why a disproportionally high number of dissidents in totalitarian societies have been believers in God.)

There’s so much I wanted to get to in this podcast that we didn’t have time for. I wanted to talk about general apologetics. How there’s a wealth of evidence in favor of divine origins: the Big Bang, the Cambrian explosion, the origins of life, the fine-tuning of the universe. Why the story of the resurrection of Jesus is real and historical and explains why disciples went from disbanded and depressed group of people fearing for their lives, to boldly announcing the reality of Messiah to the ends of known world, even under pain of torture and death.

Perhaps we’ll get to these next time. They’re most certainly worthy of a post or two as well.