Posts Tagged ‘Faith’
Below is a copy of a method of apologetics (giving a defense for your faith) that I have come to hone and highly recommend – even as a better form of evangelism. The current approach was to a Roman Catholic and I left that in there to show a more specific side of it, but it could be applied to anything – keeping 2 Cor. 11:4 in mind. Check it out:
On a practical note, I do not think that you have to become completely versed in the Catholic Doctrine or apologetics to talk with them. When you get to talk to one (or two), the main point is to ask questions and evaluate THEIR answers, THEIR words – do not debate them/him. So,you can start the conversation down the right path by asking questions. You could say, help me understand . . . and pay close attention to his answers. Pick key words and phrases out of those answers and probe deeper. The point is that you are trying to understand exactly what he believes and ask questions that direct an evaluation of those beliefs. So, if you believed that the moon was made of cheese, I might first ask you to define “moon” and “cheese” just so I am sure what you are talking about. Once I got terms right, I might ask you what you mean by “made of.” Do you mean completely, or just the outside? [as ludicrous as this sounds, my point is that you continue to ask questions so you know exactly what you are talking about from THEIR point of view. Before you can show someone the way to truth, you have to know from where they are coming.] . . .
SEE BOTTOM FOR A SLIDESHOW OF THIS METHOD
The next step is to find out where they learned this from. ”Wow, I had not heard that before, where did you learn that?” You can use ambiguous language so that you are truly listening, but not necessarily agreeing. Then you can also find out in this step how versed they really are in their research on this topic. In this stage you might find out that they actually know very little about it. So, we have learned what they believe, where it came from and now, it is good to find out why they have come to believe that. You can even say here, “Now, how long have you been a member of the Catholic Church?” This is crucial.It is very common, not guaranteed, that something happened. Likely, people abandon what they held true and quickly follow a movement because of a single experience and an emotional response. If this is not the case, so be it – but it usually is unless you are in Utah and talking to a Mormon, or in the case with Catholicism they might too have grown up in it.
Once you have listened well, not debated and learned where they are, you can begin evaluating their words more. [For me, that means that I have to write stuff down while they are saying it so I do not forget] It is here that you could say, “Now, earlier you said A equals B. But, what about when C is involved, does A still equal B?” This process is an exercise in how much water a conclusion/belief will hold. If you believe that you have to be baptized to be saved and I can show you that the thief on the cross was promised paradise and then died before ”leaving the wood” AND that Cornelius’ house began to speak in tongues [a sign of the presence of the Spirit in believers in that time], you might have to conclude with me that there are cases where people were saved and had not yet been baptizes, therefore baptism may not be (is not) required for salvation. See what I mean? The process is to Start the conversation with questions and interest, Listen to their words and answers, Evaluate to yourself what they say, Question their words to a directed end. I call it the SLEQ (bad acronym for “slick”) method. You are merely helping them evaluate out loud their beliefs. No conflict, no arguments, more listening then speaking. In this process you are looking for what I call a “hiccup.” This is where they, because of your questions, say something like, ”Well, . . I never thought of it that way” or “I don’t know” or ”Hmmm, yeah, I don’t know.” This is when you have finally got them to stop their regurgitation of learned info and now they are really thinking about it. It is usually at this point that they are very willing to listen to you. I would stay very non-combative still by saying something like, “I only ask because some would say, ‘[a doctrine based on the truth of Scripture]‘ and I wonder how that works with what you have said.” Now they are still the main one’s talking,but at this point you have led them to compare their views with the Scriptures.
1. It is helpful to know about others beliefs, but way more important to know the Scriptures to use as the Rule to evaluate all other views by.
2. To talk with someone and be heard – YOU MUST LISTEN. Why would anyone listen to you about eternal things if you have not even taken the time to get to know them to understand what the mean by what they say. This isn’t Amway.
3. Start a dialog with him in the spirit of “help me understand more what you believe, where you learned it and why you came to this point and conclusion?”
4. Listen well, and then gently ask directed, evaluative questions.
5. If you get to that “hiccup”, be willing to let the conversation go for a couple of days or so. You have just gently unnerved a large portion of their worldview and they might need to digest that. Guaranteed, they will listen to you from now on. They might want to talk more then, and if so – by all means! However, you might need to say something like, “I am so glad you were willing to share with me today and have this dialog. I really want to think more about what you said. Could we pick this up over tea at “such-&-such” on “such-&-such” day and talk some more? They will likely say yes and now you have an established date with the intention of talking to them about this and only this subject AND they are coming to listen.
Click on slideshow below and once downloaded and open, click the slideshow/play function and it will auto-run.
DailyTheocentrism: Faith in a chair is really faith in the chair’s future’s future; which is faith in God
Admittedly, this was ripped of from John Piper’s “God’s Passion for His Glory” – I think . . .
The proposition is an adjustment to the common illustration of faith – sitting in a chair. It is stated that when you sit in a chair you put faith in it. You rest your complete weight upon it and thereby, exercise faith in it, right? Not exactly.
What you are actually doing is putting your faith in the chair’s future’s future – and actually thereby putting your faith in God. Let me explain:
1. When approaching the chair, you must have some prior knowledge that the device is for sitting and the holding up of weight and that it, or a form of it, has likely held you in the past. Chairs are for sitting.
2. Even though you have sat in the device in the past that is designed for sitting AND it held you up before, what is to give you the idea that the principles that worked in your favor before – while in suspended animation aloft this said chair? Why would the chair, or a form of it, hold you again – unless there is some stability of principle(s) that is/are consistent. Chairs can hold people as a normal practice because of the principles that dictate its design and structure.
3. The principles must be from without and cannot be self-contained in the object itself. Someone has designed the principles that are used to design the materials.
4. So, you are trusting in the current chair, which is the future of the chair that embarked you upon the road of chair sitting, only confident that that’s chair’s future chair will hold you because of a consistency of things- chairs- thus, bringing you to trust in the original chair’s future’s future. It is the ultimate principle behind all of this that finds locus in God.
Hey . . . take a load off – sit down – and chew on that a while.
This song was born out of dealing with the messiness of life and the results of a sin-wrecked world. He will never leave us – those who know Him through His Son – but, what comfort is there for those who do not?
May we weep for humanity and call with loud voices to the strong and able hand of the Good Shepherd.
I will “seed” this open guitar case [Please see AskRob at the top and/or right and hover your pointer over the the button/link to see what that category is for] with a few bucks here by uploading some question dialogs that I have had as of late with some mates from the class I teach. Here is one:
Thanks for sending the extra notes, I’ve been slowing reading through them and it’s been great! These came at a perfect time because I’ve been wanting something new to read/study in the morning and this has been very structured & challenging which I like.
As for my questions, I hope I can word them in a way that makes sense. Also, if you’ve already answered them in class, I apologize, sometimes when I’m taking in a lot of new info, I don’t absorb everything right away. So here goes…(oh and please no rush on these, I realize you are very busy!)
(1) After learning about the attributes of God, I felt confused about the purpose of prayer, or whether it is ok to pray for things (like for someone who is sick, or for help with finances, etc). To clarify, what I mean: Is the purpose of prayer to help open our eyes to the path God has laid out for us and open our hearts to align to His will as opposed for asking for things to change? I know it is always good to praise/thank God, and I often pray that He would guide my steps & show me what is true because I want to do what is right. Or if I am angry I tell God about it and ask for help to process it correctly, or if I really want something (want not need), I might mention it in prayer and then pray that God would show me what He wants in that area and change my heart to match His.
But for example this week, [my daughter] is sick for the first time (horrible!!!) & I have been praying for peaceful sleep for her & quick healing. I don’t know how to explain my question about this type of prayer, but basically I’m wondering if this is the right way to pray about the situation and if not, what is? Is it ever ok to ask specifically for something that is wanted (like her getting well or for us to be able to afford for me to continue to stay home)? And if not, how do we pray about these kinds of things? Likewise, I am not even sure about praying for someones salvation in light of election. Which leads to my next question. Read the rest of this entry »