Seeking resources - Witnessing to a believer of pagan/norse mythology

A very close friend of mine believes in both Norse Mythology and in Jesus as the Son of God (he does not believe Jesus is God incarnate- he believes He was literally just a son). My friend was raised in a Catholic household, but he was also taught the pagan stories of his ancestors. For almost 2 years now, my friend has attended a Presbyterian church and I think he is open to learning about Jesus, but I do not believe he has decided to receive salvation. He still believes in the pagan gods as well. He and I often have respectful discussions about our differing beliefs, and I pray these will continue.
Does anyone have book recommendations that could help me? I know Dr. Zacharias has written so many great books in this area, I’m just not sure where to start.

Thank you!!

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@Katelyn Does he actually believe in the Norse gods or is he just fascinated by them? I know lots of people that like Norse mythology - I enjoy reading the stories myself. Have you ever asked him if he thinks that Thor actually exists and, if so, what his reasons are? Also, is anyone else in the Church spending time with him / engaging him? It could help if he was in a men’s Bible study with some guys who would enjoy digging into this issue as well. Praying the Lord would give you wisdom :slight_smile:

Thank you Sean! He said he truly believes in Odin, and he still recites his family’s prayers at the certain times of year they are supposed to.
The good news is yes, one of the elders from his church is mentoring him; he’s a very wise man! He also attends a small group and he has one close guy friend who is a Christian.
Thank you for your prayers, Sean :slight_smile:

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Hello one of the things I would ask him is what evidence is there for the pagans gods he believes in. Or you could ask what compelled him to believe in them. Once he gives his reasons then maybe you guys can discuss and see if the reasons are reasonable. If they are then you can compare and contract Christ with the pagan gods and see who has the better evidence and better fits reality.

Here are some books I think will aid you in the discussion.

This last book helps with some of the more general questions he may have.

God Bless :slight_smile:

Praying for you, brother!

Those are tricky. It’s usually really hard to get them to admit their true reasons for why they believe in something like that.

Asatruar is a word you may want to use in your research. It describes the neo-pagan revival of Norse god worship and may be what your friend is into.

He may have been influenced by other movements, too. Marvel has reawakened interest in those gods as well, unfortunately.

Lastly, he may just be winging it. A lot of people tailor-make their own religions nowadays. They can be hard to pin down.

But, with most people who believe odd things, the best remedy is time and prayer. You’ll rarely meet someone who believes that sort of thing their entire life. They’ll usually drop it of their own accord when it fails to get them the sort of attention they thought it would to begin with.

For some people, their religion is just part of their style. And, styles change.

But, in the unlikely case that he is a true believer, it’s best to educate yourself about exactly what kind of adherent he happens to be.

The Norse gods are all doomed, for instance. There is no salvation for them or their followers. Valhalla is temporary. Pointing out things like that sometimes helps. Also, the Norse gods are kind of dumb. It’s not a wisdom-based religion like some. It’s easy to show Jesus’ superiority over them once you get to know their characteristics.

And, of course, Father is jealous. No other gods before Him! Pointing out the thousand times the OT establishes that He alone is God will eventually convince a person that they do need to choose at some point.

But, as I said, these are tricky. I would pray that God just overwhelms the guy with His Spirit. A drastic transformational experience with God can do what a thousand conversations can not.

Anyway, blessings on your efforts! Pay attention, too. I suspect God has some things to teach you through this experience, as well. Hopefully things that you’ll be able to use with similar people down the road.

:grinning:

Thank you, brother!! This was helpful response! Now I have some starting points for my research. But you’re absolutely right, I will pray for him to have an encounter with the love of God.

Thank you, Katelyn!

And, my apology for thinking, for some reason that I was writing to a brother, rather than a sister!

Praying for you, and your friend!

C.

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Thank you brother, not a problem at all!

Blessings!

Have you asked him what evidence he has for Odin’s existence?

Also, while I don’t know much about historical Norse religions, I wonder if your friend is willing to practice the Norse religion as it was practiced, say, in the 9th century AD? I imagine, although I do not know for sure, that many religions like these practiced some rather barbaric rituals?

Belief and practice are the two categories of any religion that must be tested. So I would just ask some really basic questions on both and see if he can consistently answer. Is there evidence for the truth claims of Norse mythology, and, are the religious practices viable, or moral?

Grace and Peace,
Anthony

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Thank you Anthony, that’s great advice. I’ll try to ask him about the beliefs and practice, and see what I can find out. I did ask him if there’s any evidence for Odin’s existence and his response was yes, there is historical documentation of him. But I don’t know how to differentiate between the evidence of documents that described Odin as a mythical being, and what he seems to believe describe him as a real person.

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Katelyn,

I just found this video interview with Dr. Michael Heiser. This is incredible teaching material. Please watch the whole video, as I think this will give you some deep insight into what is going on in your friend’s life, in the Bible, and in the world. After watching this video, I might actually revise my approach to your friend, treating Odin not as a figment of one’s imagination, but possibly even as a lesser spirit, one that is subject to the authority of Christ. This may be a better route to witnessing to him.

in Christ,
Anthony

Thank you Anthony! I will take a look.

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