How to Talk to a Skeptic
An Easy-to-Follow Guide for Natural Conversations and Effective Apologetics
Share Your Faith Effectively in a Cynical and Skeptical Age
Talking about faith with friends and family members can be a daunting prospect. What do you say if they have questions you can't answer or if they're outright hostile toward God?
Actually, you don't have to have all the right answers, just the right questions--and a willingness to listen. As trust and understanding grow, the door to fruitful dialogue will open.
How to Talk to a Skeptic shows you how to:
· Ask probing questions and avoid being on the defensive in spiritual conversations.
· Tell God's story of the world in a winsome and easily understood way.
· Gently respond to the most common misunderstandings skeptics have about God.
Here's a natural, relational approach to evangelism and a proven way to reach out to an unbelieving world.
"This is one of the most practical books of apologetics I have ever read. It is also one of the most profound."
Peter Kreeft, author of Handbook of Christian Apologetics
"This impressive book combines clear thinking, good writing, and apologetics zeal. Bravo."
Douglas Groothuis, author of Christian Apologetics
"How to Talk to a Skeptic will bring real encouragement to all who seek to share the good news with nonbelievers, but instead find themselves getting bogged down in a swamp of objections. That's because Donald Johnson clearly shows how we must establish the contextual ground rules before we can engage in fruitful discussions about ultimate reality. How to Talk to a Skeptic makes the indispensable point that Christianity is not a product to be sold but a comprehensive and intelligent worldview to be embraced. This is a great book."
Stan Guthrie, President, Stan Guthrie Communications, coauthor, The Sacrament of Evangelism, author, All That Jesus Asks, and editor-at-large, Christianity Today
"I've been involved in apologetics and worldview ministries since the '70s, and I'm always looking for material that will help my students and fellow-believers. Not only do I want them to get the facts about the evidence for the Christian faith but also understand how to communicate those ideas in a winsome way that will move skeptics to want to honestly seek out why the gospel is relevant to them. Donald Johnson has given us one of those books. I plan to recommend it to my students and to my skeptical friends."
Randy Rodden, president, Answers International Ministries, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Community Christian College, Teaching Pastor, Valley of the Falls Community Church, Forest Falls, CA
"This is not just another apologetics book. How to Talk to a Skeptic is a compelling synthesis of worldview training, Bible teaching, and practical discussion tips. You don't have to be a philosophy student to use it; believers in all walks of life will benefit from Johnson's help to answer skeptics with truth, gentleness, and respect."
Rick Schenker, president, Ratio Christi
"Johnson has carefully crafted a book that will help believers understand the issues, frame their discussions, and intelligently interact with nonbelievers in their midst. He's created a resource that is accessible, informative, and engaging."
J. Warner Wallace, cold case detective, Christian case maker at Stand to Reason, and author of Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels
"Donald Johnson offers a fresh and conversational approach to evangelism that organically demonstrates the truth of the Christian worldview."
Braxton Hunter, professor of apologetics at Trinity College and Seminary, president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists, and the director of evangelism and apologetics for Trinity Crusades for Christ
"How to Talk to a Skeptic is both practical and accessible. Donald Johnson has done the American church in the twenty-first century a service by helping us think about how to engage unbelievers with truth and grace."
Paul Schliep, director of Credentialing and Theological Health, for Evangelical Free Church of America West Region
"Johnson rightfully criticizes the idea of Christianity as a consumer product that we sell by suggesting that it will meet needs and desires. Instead, he understands that the important question regarding Christianity (or other religions) is not 'Do I like it?' or 'What can it do for me?'--the vital question is, 'Is it true?'
Johnson explains that instead of reacting to specific assaults, we should 'talk about which story of the universe is more reasonable to believe: Christianity or something else.' We should show that 'Christianity is the worldview that best accounts for the evidence. Compared to any other worldview an unbeliever cares to offer, Christianity most adequately and comprehensively makes sense of life as we experience it every day.'
Instead of focusing on only one or two pieces of data, Johnson proposes that we defend the reliability of Scripture and the historicity of the resurrection of Christ, but also note claims of personal experience of God, providential and miracle claims, explanations for the existence of evil and good in the world, our experience of being conscious and having a conscience, the overarching unfolding of history, the way the world and the universe seem designed, and more."
"Talking about your faith can be scary. What if someone has questions you can't answer? What if people are hostile toward God? Johnson shows how to reach a culture with radical disbelief. With the idea of listening, rather than arguing, Johnson offers a framework for fruitful conversations, explanations for what these skeptics need to know about God, and steps to "deal with the data." This book does a great job of giving explanations for the "irrational." According to Johnson, most skeptics have a misconceived idea about Christianity, so gently correcting those errors with the Bible itself can alter incorrect notions. He effectively shows how to avoid being on the defensive in spiritual conversations, while telling God's story in a kind way. For people who have loved ones, colleagues, or friends who see no validity in Christianity, this book provides insights on how to evangelize even the hardest hearts."
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