How would you explain Christianity to someone who has no familiarity with Christianity, or God, or religion?
It’s a question I pondered yesterday. It’s a question I was asked about last evening.
I’ve never actually come across someone who didn’t have some kind of concept of God – even if they didn’t believe in God. Even Atheists have some kind of belief about God – albeit what I think is a wrong view.
But I wonder how the conversation would go with someone who has no concept of God. Is it even possible to have no concept whatsoever of God? I suppose it is.
We’re more likely to have interactions with people who are atheist or agnostic than we are to have interactions with people who have no concept of God at all.
How would you begin to talk about faith, or God? It’s not an easy question to deal with, but it’s one that I think is worth talking about. The importance of this is that it forces us to move from the theoretical to the practical. How do you talk about God with someone who has never heard about God? Where would you start?
I think I’d start by asking such a person some questions to get an understanding of their worldview and beliefs. I’d want to know a bit about their history and personality. Once I got to know them, then I could speak in their language – or closer to their language. I might be able to relate theological ideas to something they were familiar with.
The biggest thing would be to treat the person like a person – to show respect for them and to listen. And not to try to sell God to the person. I would want to see if there was an interest that existed. You can’t force people into a conversation about something they don’t want to talk about. But you can go far in a conversation with someone who is open to talking. That comes through trust and an attitude of openness and respect.
If all I care about is being right, then I’m pretty sure I can win an argument but lose the relationship. And I’m also pretty sure that if the relationship is lost, that person will not be open to hearing anything I have to say. And then what was the point? One can be right, but if you are right and alone, does it matter?
So how would you/do you talk about God with someone who has no concept of God?