Apologist Explains How to Have Meaningful Conversations with Non-Believers

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Apologist Explains How to Have Meaningful Conversations with Non-Believers

By Movieguide® Contributor

Apologetics writer and speaker Frank Turek explained the biggest reason why people don’t believe in Christ today and how to have productive conversations that help guide people toward God.

“I think part of the problem is that we can’t imagine how somebody couldn’t agree with us, which I find actually kind of odd,” Turek told Kirk Cameron. “People always ask me, ‘You know, you go to these college campuses, and sometimes these students get hostile. Why do you not get mad at them?’ And I say to them, ‘You know, I’m 62 years old now. When I was 22, I didn’t agree with my 62-year-old self, so why should I expect some 22-year-old kid right now to agree with my 62-year-old self. I wasn’t a Christian at 22, why should I expect this kid to be a Christian now?’”

“You haven’t always been a Christian. I haven’t always been a Christian. Why do we expect everybody to believe what we believe right now? We shouldn’t,” he added. “People are on a trajectory either moving toward Jesus or away.”

Examples of this in the Bible are important to remember as well. While many heroes of the faith followed Christ from a young age, not all of them trusted him immediately. Paul is perhaps the best example. Though he was a devout Jew, his Pharisee teachings made him a great persecutor of the early church.

It wasn’t until a life-changing experience caused him to reevaluate his thinking that he realized Jesus was who He said He was and Paul was the one in the wrong. In the same way, while we can help others better understand Christianity and provide them with opportunities to encounter God, it isn’t our duty to change their hearts.

While helping others in their walk with faith, we will oftentimes encounter questions — some of which we may not know the answer to. While this can be scary, Turek does not believe this is a reason to shy away from our calling.

“I think what we need to remember, Kirk, is that we ought not let what we don’t know cause us to doubt what we do know, and there’s a lot we do know,” Turek said.

“We do know that universe had a beginning, so there must be a beginner. The universe is fine-tuned, so there must be a fine-tuner. We do know there’s objective right and wrong, objective moral standards, so there must be a moral lawgiver,” he continued. “We do know that there’s very good evidence that Jesus predicted and accomplished His resurrection from the dead.”

“We know all those things beyond a reasonable doubt — not beyond doubt — so if we have questions outside of those things, that doesn’t somehow negate the things we do know; it just means we haven’t thought through these questions enough to figure out what the answer is,” Turek explained.

He also believes that one of the greatest hurdles in evangelism today is getting through the lies people have been told about Christianity.

Secular society has painted a picture of Christianity that is as unappealing as it is untrue. When non-Christians encounter the faith, it is often through this lens — something that Turek works hard to overcome and help people see what Christ is actually about.

“People today believe things based on slogans, not because they’ve investigated, Kirk. So I always ask them, ‘What evidence do you have for that position?’ And then you can say, ‘Have you ever considered that we know the Bible has not been changed throughout the centuries because we have over 5,000 manuscripts that we can compare and recreate the original with more than 99% accuracy?’” Turek said.

“Now, that doesn’t prove the Bible’s true, but it does show that what they wrote down we still have,” he continued. “The next question is, is the Bible telling the truth? And with regard to the resurrection, which is the second question you need to answer to show that Christianity is true, I always point out to people that the New Testament writers, all of them with the exception of Luke, were all Jewish believers in Yahweh as long as they had lived. And they had, you know, generations going back.”

“And then suddenly Jesus comes along. They toss all that, and they say, ‘This guy predicted and accomplished his own resurrection from the dead while claiming to be God.’ That was something a Jew didn’t think could happen,” Turek added. “They didn’t think one guy would rise from the dead and they didn’t think anybody could claim to be God — that would be blasphemy — yet here are these guys going to their deaths saying this is what happened…They got abused, they got persecuted, they got killed for saying this happened.”

If the disciples only received sorrow and suffering for spreading the Gospel, why would they do it if it were a lie? Turek believes this question helps many people see the truth, that Jesus was God and that his resurrection — for our sins — is a historical fact.

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