Here in my context, where the vast majority of the citizens were nominal Christians, sharing Bible verses or engaging in spiritual conversations is acceptable.I would like to know on how can I construct a good question to a nominal Christian or to other faith, so that I can present the Word of God as good and true.
Hi @Marvs, that’s a good question, and am I correct assuming that you live in this context? I love that you are wanting to see those around you walk with Jesus.
I’m not sure there’s a question that would accomplish showing the Bible as inerrant and infallible, but a good question could open up a conversation that may lead there. If the person is a nominal Christian, a good question to ask might be something like, “What’s God been doing in your life lately?” This question will likely catch the person off guard, but could expose that they aren’t walking with Jesus and they need a change in their life. When that happens I think it’s important that we take time to walk with them as they start this journey.
It might even be a good idea to not bring up the inerrancy or infallibility of the Bible for a while. Although both doctrines are true, neither are pre-requisites for salvation - only what he or she does with Jesus will matter. And, as he or she follows Jesus it’s likely he or she will hold the views of inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture soon there after.
Hello, my name is Tim Roquim. I’m very new to this platform. I just read your reply on what can you ask a nominal christian to initiate a conversation about Jesus/God. I think it’s a great suggestion. I plan to use it. Thanks.
I have to agree with @boabbott. I had a professor that showed early on that my search for Biblical infallibility was an issue about my confidence rather than helping someone else. That was some tough advice! But he then followed that up with something like what @boabbott said. Not that we need to prove the Bible, but what about our own lives proves that we are walking fruit-bearing, biblical, Christian lives?
I think the suggestion given in this forum is a great lead-in, to ask what God is doing in their lives (and to do so with genuine interest). Thinking further about it, today I may need to be sensitive in the same way to the people around me that I think are just “okay.”. They may need encouragement, and they may share an impactful story where I can share in giving God the glory if He is really working through someone’s life in a powerful way!
@Marvs, What a practical question that we can all learn from and reflect on from our own experiences! Thank you for bringing it up. I think even for those who have understood the gospel at one time, it is possible to slip into a phase in life where our experience with God is “nominal”. We go through the motions of church, raising families with moral values, involve ourselves in church programs but yet we lose our vision of how great God really is! We stop expecting that God is going to keep His promises, we pray without hope, our choices lack reflection on God’s word, we dont sense the urgency of the gospel message or our hearts dont break for our loved ones. When I think of such times in my own life, I would agree with what @andrew.bulin shared about the importance of the model of our own lives. It’s not the knowledge necessarily, but a passion, a quiet confidence in the Lord and love that those matured in faith had shown toward me that inspired me to be with them and learn their ways to be revived myself in spiritual fervor in the dry seasons of my life. It is wonderful that you are surrounded by people who are willing to consider the verses of the Bible. Even if you have not figured out the strategy, your eagerness to be present with them and care for them will open opportunities for deeper spiritual conversations.
A few ideas I have from my own experiences are -
- Build a genuine relationship by offering prayer or helping out in a practical way without making them into a project.
- Invite them to a small group where they can hear the perspectives of more believers who understand what it means to have a personal relationship with the Lord. Many a times I have found that I may initiate a conversation or friendship but someone else continues it in the small group.
- Ask follow up questions in conversations to understand underlying causes or beliefs in their statements. Ask why, how, when, where etc. to be fully present in their conversation and be a good listener.
- Read a book together, Share meals together
- Share an experience that relates to the sermon on Sunday service.
- Follow up and keep them in prayer.
Questions to ask
- @boabbott 's question is a great example!
- Do they attend church? Follow up with a Why or Why not? (I think I heard this idea from a Christian brother here on Connect).
- Try to find a common ground with the mind of the nominal Christian who has no special interest in religion, just as Jesus! Say something like, "Have you ever noticed how Jesus related with the religious leaders in his day? "
- Do you believe God still speaks? (Can talk about the Bible if opportunity arises)? Be prepared to give a testimony.
- What did you think of the sermon today?
Tim Keller from Redeemer Church, New York city has the following suggestions to wake up a sleepy Christian. I know I have experienced some of these questions in small group and over meals in my own experience with other Christians.
Evidence of God’s presence in your life
- How real has God been this week to your heart?
- How clear and vivid is your assurance and certainty of God’s forgiveness and fatherly love. To what degree is that real to you right now?
- Are you having any particular seasons of sweet delight in God? Do you really sense his presence in your life? Do you really sense him giving you his love?
Evidence of Scripture changing you
- Have you been finding Scripture to be alive and active?
- Are you finding certain biblical promises extremely precious and encouraging? Which ones?
- Are you finding God’s calling you or challenging you to something through the word, in what ways?
Evidence of a growing appreciation for God’s mercy
- Are you finding Gods grace more glorious and moving now than you have in the past?
- Are you conscious of a growing sense of the evil of your heart, and in response, a growing dependence on and grasp of the preciousness of the mercy of God?
All a nominal Christian usually needs in my experience is an expansion of their understanding of the active working of God in our lives today. Atleast that’s what worked for others on me! Their openness to faith in God and to a degree in Christ can be a cause for greater boldness. May God bless your conversations in Christ!
I appreciate all the feedback