Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Article: Apologetics as Conversation by Tim Muehlhoff

Last spring, we had the opportunity to review the book A New Kind of Apologistedited by Sean McDowell.  You can find our review here.

One of the many excellent chapters included in this book is Chapter 1- Christians in the Argument Culture: Apologetics as Conversation by Tim Muehlhoff.

In this chapter, Muehlhoff explains how he was able to find principles of communication in the book of Proverbs that anyone can implement in their own conversations to transform them into apologetics opportunities.

The author writes:

"I found the communication principles I needed in the book of Proverbs. This unique book is the collective counsel of teachers to their students. Israel's teachers were watching their best and brightest leave to take leadership positions in Jerusalem. This move put young Israelite men in touch with non-Israelites who did not share the sacred beliefs of the Jewish community. The writers of Proverbs faced the same challenge we do: How do we prepare individuals to meet and engage people whose beliefs are radically different from our own? These wise teachers knew they could not write a script for every interpersonal situation their pupils would encounter. People then were too diverse, just as they are now. Instead, they carefully crafted broad principles and sayings, which we can use today.

These proverbial principles are expressed in four essential questions that we must ask during a conversation with someone whose beliefs are different from our own."

The four essential questions are:

1. What does this person believe?

2. Why does this person believe?

3. Where do we agree?

4. Based on this knowledge, how should I proceed?

Now, you can read this entire chapter online for free.  You can check it out here.

Further, I highly recommend A New Kind of Apologist, edited by Sean McDowell.

Courage and Godspeed,

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