Ask Neil Vimulkumar Boniface (February 18-22, 2019)


(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi friends, @Interested_In_Ask_RZIM,

I’m thrilled to announce that Neil Vimalkumar Boniface from the RZIM India team is available to answer your toughest apologetics questions in RZIM Connect this week.

Please do ask your questions about how to discuss Christ in the workplace - as well as any other heartfelt concerns and doubts.

I know that you will benefit from the exchange - and all of us following along will too!

Carson

Neil’s RZIM biography:
Neil Vimalkumar Boniface is Senior Apologist and Trainer with RZIM Life Focus Society. He is trained as an engineer from the Allahabad University. Coming from a Christian home, he committed his life to the Lord Jesus during his college years and with a mounting interest in the big questions of life, he pursued an MA (Honours) in Theology from SAIACS, Bengaluru. Neil completed a second masters from the University of Edinburgh (UK), specializing in Science and Religion.

For the last thirteen years, Neil has traveled widely and spoken on varied platforms both in India and abroad. His audiences include students and faculty from premier educational institutions, corporate boardrooms, and professionals from different walks of life. His inspirational lectures have been well-received in the public arena. He enjoys interacting with his audiences as he presents the message of Jesus Christ to them.

Neil has preached in Christian conferences, leading churches, retreats, and has been instrumental in training many in sharing and defending the faith. He has also spoken on radio broadcasts with AIR FM and FEBA.

Neil and his family make their home in Chennai, India.


(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #2

Hello Neil!

I like asking this question to Christian leaders and apologists, so I thought I’d ask you, too:

Besides the Bible, which Christian books (theology and/or apologetics) have impacted your walk with Christ the most? Any specific titles/authors you’d recommend?


(Bill Brander) #3

Good day Neil, I probably missed it, but in the YouTube video “4 steps to evangelism”, please refresh me what were/are these steps?
Thanks
Bill


(Viji Varghese) #4

Hi Neil,

I have a question. I was trying to get my head around Ravi Zacharias’ response to a question in this video: (https://youtu.be/rl5Xu03-KIc?t=206) where he mentions Jesus’ response to the question “who is my neighbor?” is not really who his neighbor was but “to whom are you being neighborly?”

I didn’t understand the difference between saying who your neighbor was Vs. to whom are you being neighborly.


(Luna) #6

Hello Neil, a few months ago I had Mormons come to my door and witness to me. The first visit was just them giving me a book of Mormon and the next 2 visits were them answering some questions. The last visit I had I asked a lot of questions that they couldn’t answer about their books and faith. I was a loving and polite as possible and there was no arguing at all. Yet they haven’t come back to my house. My question is do you have any advice on how I could maybe go about talking to people of other faiths without scaring them away with what I may already know about theirs?


(Daren L McClellan) #7

Hello Neil,
We are blessed with many very intelligent and insightful thinkers, especially within Christian apologetics. May of these wonderful contenders for the faith are getting older. Do you see the next generation of apologists rising to the same level as a Ravi Zacharias, John Lennox, and William Lane Craig. What can be done to help raise our quality and depth of thinkers? Thank you.


(Joshua Mathew) #8

can you give me some good arguments/points or good resources which will help me to reach out or to present gospel among the hindu community


(Neil Boniface) #9

Hi Isaiah,
Thank you for your query and your patience. I find myself significantly influenced by brother Ravi Zacharias’ talks and books. Some of the other authors I enjoy and respect much include: Os Guinness, Alister McGrath, Vinoth Ramachandra, C.S. Lewis, Philip Yancey, Dinesh D’Souza among others. I regularly use the Bible Speaks Today series for my biblical study. In my reference section, I keep quite a few Dictionaries on different themes / Bible commentaries. Hope that helps.
Cheers,
Neil


(Neil Boniface) #10

Hi Bill,
I had to go back to that video you referred. :slight_smile: That title on evangelism was not given by me. However, I think spoke on 4 D’s from Colossians 4: 2-6.
(a) DEVOTE to prayer
(b) Pray that a DOOR would open
© Pray that I may DECLARE the message as I ought to
(d) The warning from DEMAS.
I had spoken the same message elsewhere. If you are interested, you could check it out. It is found in this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI3QcXXNyOs

Have a good day!


(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #11

Any specific books you enjoy by those authors you mentioned?


(Neil Boniface) #12

Hi Joshua,
Here are my suggestions on presenting the gospel among the Hindu community. (In fact, this very weekend, some of my colleagues in India are at a symposium which is an RZIM initiative on ‘Gospel to the Eastern mind’. I hope I can share more details with you after that gets over).

  1. While Hindus love to dialogue and discuss on spiritual matters, they do not place a high premium on rational apologetics. This could be for many reasons, one of which is that intuitive (spiritual) knowledge is more valued over against rational thinking. So, while we use logic and reason, those cannot be used as a clinching argument (a typical Hindu might prefer dialogue to debate). In fact, some of them may find such an approach arrogant and faulty. Sharing the gospel to Hindus has to be more than cerebral.
  2. Someone termed Hinduism as a parliament of religions. There are many schools of thought, gods and goddesses, and sometimes even contrary beliefs among them. So, the best approach to a Hindu would be dialogical apologetics. We would do well to ask them questions about their faith and understanding, and then build bridges for the gospel. No two Hindus may have the same set of beliefs.
  3. Also, because a Hindu mindset is comfortable with ‘pluralism’, it is hard to present another view that claims exclusivity. A Hindu may comfortably domesticate the Christian gospel into their beliefs. No wonder, a number of New Age gurus preach / write about Jesus. But that is not the Jesus of the New Testament. Illustrations to explain that there isn’t a true ‘pluralist’ (obviously even a Hindu has non-negotiables) can help remove roadblocks.
  4. Some aspects that could really leave an impact with a Hindu are - an honest lifestyle, genuine friendships, a real spirituality (some might like joining at Christian fellowships for a spiritual experience). You could ask them if you could pray for them - and do it then and there. We could then invite those seekers to read the Bible on their own and also be a part of a Church where they are comfortable.
  5. Traditionally, there are many Hindus who find an appeal in Jesus - His pure life, His ascetic lifestyle, that He identified with the poor and marginalised etc. But today with a fundamentalist Hinduism that overrides other forms of Hinduism - I suspect many Hindus are turning down a Jesus that they actually don’t know. Reminds me of the words of Jesus - ‘They have hated me without a cause.’
  6. In conversations with Hindus, it is helpful to leave words that carry a bad baggage for them - like for eg., conversion, crusade, ‘Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war’… One cannot help the offense with the offer that Christ makes, but we could sure try and be better communicators of the gospel.
  7. One last word here… ask questions to Hindus. Don’t be on an answer mode all the time. Listen to their questions/ concerns they would ask. Deep engagement is possible when there is two-way traffic.
    Hope this helps…

(Neil Boniface) #13

Hi Isaiah,

I have read most books written by bro Ravi Zacharias, Vinoth Ramachandra, Philip Yancey… Not sure if I have favourites among them. From Os Guinness, I have been blessed by ‘The Call’, and one on evil titled: ‘Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil’. I am currently reading ‘Long Journey Home’ and on my list-to-read is ‘The Global Public Square’. I have enjoyed reading Alister McGrath on Science (one on Fine-tuning; although I am not a great enthusiast about Natural theology), His two books that responded to Richard Dawkins and a collectible version of ‘Glimpsing the Face of God: The Search for Meaning in the Universe’. From Dinesh D’Souza, ‘What is so great about Christianity?’, ‘Is there life after Death?’ and ‘God-forsaken’ are some books I have enjoyed much. The list is far from exhaustive. :slight_smile: Blessings!


(Neil Boniface) #14

Hi Daren,
Yours is a visionary question! If you were to ask any of these gentlemen your referred the same question, I guess they would be optimistic about God’s purposes for the millennials. These thinkers have inspired a generation and there is a growing awareness for evangelism undergirded by apologetics. For sure, there will be newer methods / mediums of communication - and the good old historic gospel message.


(Billie Corbett) #17

Hello Neil,

Thank you for your list of reading material. You have just added a few new ones for me to add to my reading line up.
(I loved Os Guinness’s The Call. I read it a few years back, and think I am ready for a re-read.)


(Moses) #18

Hello Bro Neil, Hope you are doing great in Christ!

Apologetics is surely important in winning souls, especially in the western world where people love intellectualism and reasoning.

What do you think is the role of Christian Apologetics in India in winning souls to Christ as majority of the population is not after intellect or reason but after practical living?

Thanks


(Carson Weitnauer) closed #19

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