Hello, I’m from Mississippi and I’ve been a long time listener of the RZIM podcasts and really enjoy listening to the team speak. I look forward to reading the Q&A posts and to ask questions of my own. I’ve had run ins with atheists before which pushed me to deepen my understanding of my faith. The RZIM podcasts have really helped me find answers and I want to be able to help others find answers to questions they might have.
Welcome, glad to have you here.
When you say you have had run one with atheists, what have the conversations been like? I am curious how many congratulations are cordial as compared to the hostel interaction.
They mostly have outdated arguments that haven’t been logically thought through. It seems that they find a point to stop their logical thinking and just try to avoid going deeper into the thought of their argument. You can then see the anger and frustration they have when pressed to think more about it. You try to open them up with more questions but find yourself getting no where. They say they’re more “open minded” than Christians but I would beg to differ based on my experience
Hey Justin! @Jlopez
So glad you’ve joined! I think you’ll find this community a great place to learn and grow together.
I’m with you in wanting to reach our friends and their tough questions- I pray every day for the words to speak- because,Lord knows, I’d mess it all up on my strength
In our Core Module course (maybe you’ve heard of it? check it out - with the RZIM Academy online) I learned a lot about engaging with non Believers- about really listening to the person behind the question- caring about the why behind the strong opposition or seemingly luke warm care about faith.
I, too, have an atheist friend- and we met and talked for a long time about our worldviews. Mostly, she talked and I listened! It was a neat experience- she felt safe to talk about her unbelief, and how she got there.
Ravi has four great questions to help start a conversation- (maybe you’ve heard of them?) Asking the Questioner what he/she thinks about the Origin of life- how did we get here? Meaning of life? What’s the point- why are we here…does anything really matter? Morality? What about that inner sense of right and wrong? And lastly, Destiny? Where do we go when we die?
Asking these questions- letting the friend talk- and we respectfully listen- It’s helped me to know I don’t need to be armed for a heavy debate- but, as the Spirit leads, to lovingly ask clarifying questions.
In the end, my friend felt a huge relief to have someone just listen. She asked to hear about my worldview next, which we did- the whole experience has been really great. She is still an Atheist- but, I pray for her every day…and I have to believe God is stirring in her heart the desire for truth.
I hope our next conversation would be one where I could challenge her a bit to think further on some things…in this situation, I’d try to be ready for some tough questions… and know what I believe in order to share it with her.
Relationships, and time- I think that’s a huge component to reaching our non Believing friends- which I’ve found takes a lot of being intentional and checking in with those friends- can be hard in this fast-paced life we live in!
It helps to remember that God is pursuing each of us- and has all the means He needs to speak into us- and I’m just grateful to get to be used in His story- and through my weaknesses, He makes me strong- and somehow I ( we all do!) get these opportunities to serve Him.
I’m sure if you listen to the RZIM podcasts, you’ve already heard the heart of this ministry- to care more about the Questioner than the Question
I hope you feel encouraged, Justin! I’m with you -and by no means do I get this right all of the time/ have all the answers. I’m learning right along with you.
Enjoy getting to know this community, and checking out the forums! Great topics and discussions out there…
It was a guy I had met at work and we also became friends. I would listen to him and he would ask questions that really challenged me. Unfortunately he was unwilling to listen to any of my responses. He no longer works with me and have lost contact with him. But on a brighter note, it pushed me to find answers which is how I came across RZIM and I have continued to listen in on the conversations
Hi @Jlopez, welcome to connect, so thankful you joined. It will definitely help you as you engage more with atheist. I agree with @HeidiMitchell about the person behind the question. The core module taught me to be more respectful and listen out for the “why” as Heidi mentioned. Looking forward to your insight
Welcome aboard @Jlopez. God love your heart. I thought @HeidiMitchell had very helpful insight. I would commend the core module in RZIM Academy. https://rzimacademy.org/. May God grant you wisdom and dicernment. I look forward to reading your posts.
Welcome to the community!