Welcome to the Connection Points Blog
Welcome to the Connection Points blog. My primary purpose is to help believers in Messiah with the difficult task of evangelism. But I also hope to help both Christians and people of other faiths to see links between the God of the Bible and all areas of life. Thus, the goal is to see and promote “points of connection” in a variety of ways.
For this first post (or, the first in a long time, if you had been reading the blogs I posted at my old website) I want to reflect on some trends I’ve seen in evangelism as I’ve been researching and writing about the topic for the past few years. I’ll offer three.
First, I’m encouraged that many Christians are motivated to share their faith out of concern and compassion for their friends outside the Christian community. While at different times, some Christians were mainly motivated by guilt (“If I don’t witness, I’ll feel horrible about myself”) or with a sense of superiority (“I can win any argument because I’ve got the truth”), I hear more people talk about their love for their friends and the accompanying concern when they’re heading in harmful directions. This is a good trend and one I pray will continue and expand.
Second, many non-believers are more earnest in their search for answers. There’s more pain in our world (or, at least, many in the West are more aware of it) and people want deeper responses to complex issues. They reject shallow, trite, or formulaic explanations of vexing problems. I applaud this. We never should have offered simplistic answers and people never should have accepted them. The Bible’s complexity points us toward rich explanations and deep resources for the multifaceted challenges before us. Francis Schaeffer’s motto of offering “honest answers to honest questions” is more needed today than ever.
Finally, postmodernism has helped us in outreach. It’s ironic, isn’t it? But our culture’s mantra of “diversity” (all the hypocritical intolerance in the name of tolerance notwithstanding) has trained people to give a hearing for alternative points of view. Some (not all!) who are willing to allow for minority expressions about sexuality, gender, politics, and ethnicity also want to hear about varieties of religious experience.
I’ve been working on a research project centered on interviews of 40 college students who have become Christians within the past 2 years. It has been encouraging yet disturbing, inspiring yet overwhelming, but overall, emboldening. I plan to share some insights from my research in future blogs.
Until then, I look forward to connecting.