Friday, March 25, 2016

When you should use the skeptic's perspective

I like how the latest post on preachingtoday, in an article on Preaching to Skeptics this Easter, mentions the idea of studying your passage with a non-believer in order to get an accurate glimpse into the questions skeptics might have about a passage.

I see this being particularly useful in two occasions.

First, if the passage is extremely familiar - like the Christmas story, resurrection accounts or the parable of the Prodigal Son - then you'll get the advantage of seeing the text with a fresh set of eyes. From this new perspective, you can unlock points which you might overlook or, erroneously, assume that everyone, subconsciously, already knows.

And second, this skeptical perspective would be of great use if it matches the audience which you'll be speaking before.

If you're aware that the high school scripture class will contain a majority of atheists, or you want your talk to particularly appeal to that one "tough kid" at youth group, then consulting an atheist friend about a topic or passage could be invaluable.

The challenge for far too many in ministry would be the availability of a non-believing friend. For, I would dare say most, they don't have a close friend who isn't on Team Jesus.

Finally, as a bonus, you'd open the door to some potentially productive spiritual conversations surrounding the bible, and who knows where that conversation could head...

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