Originally posted at Living Hope here
In Meet the Skeptic: A Field Guide to Faith Conversations, Bill Foster introduces us to four skeptics and their corresponding worldviews.
But first, why do we need to know more about these people who cast doubt upon, and scorn our faith? By knowing how they think and view the world, we can better understand how to engage them with compassion and wisdom when attempting to reach them with the Gospel. Today's skeptics may be outspoken and angry, but they are also in need of a Savior.
Before diving into each of the forms of skepticism included in the book, Foster first shares some important tips relevant for all faith conversations. The one I find to be most important, is the reminder that the our goal is never to "win" a conversation. Our motives and emotions need to remain in check if we are to exhibit the right attitude of love and concern for the souls of those whom most challenge us. They need to see Jesus and his love, not us and our pride.
Foster covers the four most commonly encountered types of Skepticism: Spiritual, Moral, Scientific, and Biblical.
In each of these, the number one task is to determine the "root idea" behind their objections. Skeptics love to overwhelm Christians with facts, contradictions, ideas, and other questions that can only be found in a game of trivial pursuit. So often we take the bait and end up stumbling along trying to keep up on every rabbit trail they lead us. This never ends well. The author boils each type of skepticism down to its root, so that we can focus the conversation on this, rather than just pulling at the weeds.
Another feature found for each skeptic, are Red-Flag-Words. These are words that are often misrepresented and twisted to fit the skeptics argument. Here we are encouraged to confront the skeptic with each word's true meaning, exposing the error. On a similar note, Foster also explains many of the ideas that skeptics present to us and what they really mean by them. In many ways, we speak two different languages. To witness effectively we need to avoid being lost in translation.
There are many powerful techniques included in this book, and to better master these you can find additional help in the companion Meet the Skeptic Workbook. This is an excellent resource for cementing these ideas in your mind and enabling them to be used effectively. They would be found especially useful in conducting a small group studies.
Bill Foster does a great job of introducing us to the skeptics. He explains how to use probing questions to draw out which particular views a skeptic is representing and how to aim our witness towards the heart of the matter. Sharing our faith can be a scary thing, and with the willingness of today's unbelievers to put up a fight, we need resources like this to prepare ourselves for the battle.
Meet the Skeptic: A Field Guide to Faith Conversations by Bill Foster. To learn more about the book or the author visit www.meettheskeptic.com
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I'd like to thank Master Books for sending me this free copy for review as part of their Bible Defenders Review Team.