This article discusses a simple rhetorical technique which can be used to naturally transition any conversation into a conversation about God.
Christians are called to share the Gospel. This is called evangelism and it can be very awkward to do if you don’t know how to do it. That fact, combined with the fact that many churches don’t do a great job of training people in evangelism, may result in many Christians not engaging in evangelism when they should.
Related to evangelism is apologetics, which means to give a defense of the faith. This is usually done through some form of logical argumentation, and the form of argumentation is usually either evidential or presuppositional. This relates to evangelism because when you share the gospel with someone a natural response is, “How do you know what you are saying is true?” Sometimes we even need apologetics just to engage in evangelism because the questions may come up before we have shared the whole story.
You probably wouldn’t want to turn just any conversation into a conversation on God. Transitioning from a discussion on restaurants to a discussion of God can be awkward even for a skilled evangelist. Using the technique shown here, though, you would be able to do that if you want to.
I would also point out that not engaging in something because it is awkward can sometimes be good, although it is many times bad as well. A good reason to forego an awkward discussion of God might be that awkward conversations may be less likely to have a successful outcomes than less or not awkward conversations, where a successful outcome is either a conversion or an improved perception of Christianity on the part of the non-evangelical member of the discussion.
In addition to a lower chance of a good outcome, awkward discussions may also have an increased chance of a bad outcome, where a bad outcome is a worsened perception of Christianity on the part of the non-evangelical member of the discussion.
Thanks for bearing through the introduction, and now on to the technique instruction at last. All conversations are based on language and largely mutual understanding which draws upon commonly held knowledge. The key to turning any conversation to a conversation on God is to investigate that knowledge. Just as the non-evangelist asks us, we may also ask, “How do you know that to be true?”
While it would be weird to ask this about a restaurant or something superficial as I earlier pointed out, it can be done. Every conversation can be transitioned into a discussion of either epistemology or morality, and both of those topics can be transitioned into an discussion of God, religion, apologetics, and so on. Two key which can be used to lead the conversation that. One is “How do you know that?” The other is the child’s favorite, “Why?”
- “My favorite restaurant is McDonalds.”
- “Because the food is so good.” (I realize this is an implausible scenario but it is for illustration.)
- “What make it good? How do you come up with what’s good or not?” (I also could have said, “How do you know that?”)
- “Good is just whatever I like.” (Or whatever response they give.)
- Now we have a landing point to dive into some apologetics.
I think all roads lead to God in at least three ways, but none of them should be taken to imply that lame idea that all religions will result in justification before God. All roads lead to God because:
- All conversations can be steered into a discussion on God.
- Everything is either an evidence for God (Omega) or a thing contingent upon and ultimately descended from God (Alpha). Don’t take that ultimate descent idea as a scapegoat for sin, however. That is a fallacy and another discussion.
- All will stand before God one day at judgement. So try to help make sure they hear about Jesus 🙂