How To Have A Public Faith


(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Some wisdom from Tim Keller:

Public Faith: How to Share the Hope You Have in Christ

First, in sharing our faith, we take an intelligent approach, not an authoritarian one. We remember what it is like not to believe, and we do not expect people to believe simply by being told what is true. People want to know why.

Second, we take a “process” approach, not a “crisis” one. We provide multiple exposures to the gospel. We afford people the opportunity to ask questions, so that they receive information about Christianity in an order and shape that addresses their situation.

Third, we take a “presuppositional” approach to persuading people about the faith. That means we believe every person, even the skeptic, already does believe in God (Rom. 1:18–25). So we find “clues of God”—insights into truth—they already have, and use these to show the way back to their Creator. Jesus responded positively to a man who was in “process,” who said: “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). We should want to do the same.


(Melvin Greene) #2

I am familiar with the first two approaches. The third approach never occurred me. That’s very interesting. Thanks, @CarsonWeitnauer. I will definitely be mindful of this and look for the clues.


(SeanO) #3

You know, I wonder if this advice is actually specific to Western culture? I still remember Nabeel Qureshi and David Wood listening to a debate between William Lane Craig and a Muslim Scholar. David was convinced Dr. Craig had one because his argument was so clear. Nabeel was convinced the Muslim had won because he showed so much more emotion and outward conviction.

I think there are some cultures - eastern cultures - where (at least in recent history) there is still a strong element of authority. That is one reason some people say Presbyterianism did so well in South Korea - because of the hierarchy and order.

I really like the part about taking a ‘presuppositional’ approach. I think sometimes I am too skeptical and feel that people - even if they are aware of God - have already internally decided against Him. But perhaps God is at work beneath the scenes in ways I cannot see.