From: Mccarrick Alan D CRPH (MccarrickAD@nswccd.navy.mil)
Date: Wed Aug 14 2002 - 10:53:37 EDT
"I find that there are not only Christians who are a bit shy of admitting
they are Christian but start to come out when someone else has but one can
also unsettle unbelievers WHO ARE INSECURE IN THEIR UNBELIEF as many are.
They need a non-aggressive laid-back and slightly humorous approach. It is
as/more important to win the person as to win the argument."
To which I agree with some reservations.
Francis Schaeffer used to talk of making people face the logical
consequences of their beliefs. Not in a winner-take-all debating
style (although the stakes are infinitely high), but with enough
force for them to take thought seriously - not to win a fight, but to
open their minds to consider spiritual things. There is certainly a
difference between public and private discussions. People's backs
will always be up in front of others, so a gentle hand is important,
but not so much as to admit that truth and error are equal. It seems
that Christ was gentle with some and very hard with others.
I remember an interesting way of dropping a hint from my grad school
professor at Penn in engineering: at the end of a class on
mathematical methods, he said "Well that's three points, and like
they say, every good sermon should have three points..." That may
have gone over other peoples' heads, but it caught my attention. He
was a believer and led a Bible study for grad students.
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