Responding to Post-Modern times

Christians are called to witness to others. So how can we do that effectively today? Ravi Zacharias gives us some pointers for dealing with Post-Modern public situations. In order to present the Gospel today, instead of opening the Bible first, ask questions of your audience instead. Then illustrate your point with examples. Finally bring the truth, the Bible, to the discussion. The reason for leading with questions first, following with examples for illustration, and finishing with the Bible last is that only about one-third of the American adult population believes that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally word for word. We addressed that fact in an earlier chapter on the Bible. We have to know our audience—what they believe and don’t believe.

For example, if you’ve done your homework and know the Post-Modern tenets, ask people if they agree with pluralization—that everyone is right, since there is no truth. If this is correct, it leads to contradictions and no reason. Illustrate your point with a discussion about the person of Jesus Christ to both Muslims and Christians. If they are both right, how can Jesus be merely a prophet to the Muslims and the Son of God and Savior of the world to the Christians? To hold on to both views is a contradiction. Follow up with the Bible, applying what Jesus said in John 14:6, “‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” And remember, if people say that’s just your truth, point out the contradictions in their Post-Modern thinking. The very idea that there is no truth undercuts itself. That’s a truth statement—“there is no truth.”

Or take another witnessing situation. In the name of the new tolerance, people today say that you can believe whatever you want; just don’t let it affect public life and policy. We don’t want to offend anyone. This is called privatization, when individuals separate their private and public life. It leads to no meaning—what good is their religion if they don’t use it? To illustrate your point, say you’re stranded in a strange part of town all alone with no cell phone and five Christians approached you, discussing the great Bible study from which they had just come. What would you expect them to do? Wouldn’t you expect them to help? Wouldn’t you expect them to live their private faith in a public way by helping you? On the other hand, if they walked past and left you stranded, or worse yet, attacked you, you’d be sickened by their hypocrisy. As James 2:26 says, “Faith without deeds is dead.” We do expect private faith to come out in public life. From the abolition of slavery to the founding of schools and hospitals, Christianity has a rich history of making society better.

Post-Modernism is an “extremely complex, often contradictory, constantly changing school of thought.” Thank God that He does not change. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” In the midst of the confusion, the Bible is dependable and God is faithful, as we have seen from earlier chapters. The Christian worldview map can be used to navigate anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. It applies to all of us. It is universal. It is a metanarrative, an overarching explanation of all things, and the Truth.

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