Perhaps you have come across (or heard about) the claim that I am a “danger” to evangelical Christianity, that I am part of the great deception of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12. I prefer to be known as a danger to deceivers.
I see a dangerous push within the church today, a push to legislate away doctrinal disputes rather than to encourage open inquiry, respectful dialogue, rigorous testing, and resolution. In the words of Zondervan’s Jonathan Petersen, “One of Satan’s favorite lies is that you can’t consider someone else’s point of view and still remain faithful.”
This lie, experience tells me, interferes with evangelism. As Petersen says, “Unbelievers sometimes hesitate to commit their lives to Christ because they think believers are lock-step lookalikes who are too narrow-minded to allow diversity.”
With this problem in mind, I have developed a talk on “How to Discuss Genesis Without Starting a Fight.” As it turns out, many churches won’t even permit any teaching on Genesis 1-11 for fear of splitting the congregation.
One reason for trouble is that the teaching rarely extends beyond Genesis 1 to other creation passages that shed light on the subject. If you’re a student of Scripture you know that the Bible contains ten major creation accounts plus many additional verses on creation.
Using an approach that integrates these verses, I challenge audiences (and so do Fuz Rana and other RTB speakers) to look first at the big picture of creation. A look at God’s plan in creating this universe exposes some of the key differences between Christian theology and all other belief systems.
This integrated big-picture-first approach serves as an effective, easy-to-use evangelistic tool. At the same time, it significantly lowers the hostility level. Typically, audiences (including non-Christians) begin to see the differences among creation views as opportunities for further research, deeper study and understanding of revealed truth.
Hank Hanegraaff described Reasons To Believe scholars as “always thinking,” always looking for creative new ways to resolve theological and scientific problems. (I would add that we urge others to do the same.) I cherish Hank’s comment as one of the best compliments I have ever received.
Sincerely in Christ,