I found these thoughts online a while ago, and I think they’re helpful to remember for all kinds of conversations. If you find yourself wondering if you are able to adequately explain the answers Christians give to the big questions of life, it may help to remember that we aren’t the only ones attempting to give answers. Everyone, everywhere tries too:
Everyone has their own version of the ‘gospel’ story.
Creation – Who I am, and who should I be?
Fall – What’s wrong with me, and with the world?
Redemption – What’s the solution?
Consummation – What do I hope for?
When we hear people expressing their version of creation, fall, redemption or consummation, we can talk about the gospel story. Talking about Jesus begins with listening to other people’s stories and sharing our own story of Jesus.
In other words, asking people questions to find out how they answer these questions can be a very fruitful avenue of conversation. Who do they think they are, as a person? What do they think they should be, and why do they hold that standard up for themselves? What do they think is wrong with the world (or with them as an individual)? What is needed to fix the world? Will it actually happen? How? What do they personally hope for in life? Have they thought through their answers to these questions? Do their answers, when taken all together, actually work? And how did they arrive at the answers they have? Do they live by the answers they give? There’s enough there to fill up many hours of back and forth.
As believers, we will find that, as God gives us opportunities, we will be able to give answers to these questions that do more to connect the dots, explain everything, bring healing, and introduce people to God, than any other answers out there.