Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Mattson offers “memorable images for dialogue with seekers and skeptics.” His goal is to help readers “get out of the trap of being unprepared...for seekers and skeptics,” who come with their questions and objections to Christianity. He regrets times when he was not ready for the skeptic’s question, and lost the opportunity to offer the “good news.”
I perceive that Mattson is an extrovert. And he has practiced and he has prayed and he is ready whatever the question may be. He loves dialogue and he is definitely ready to take on anyone who wanders into his path. And he wants his readers to do this also. Easy for him to say. Introverts would have more hesitancy, I know, but still, we could take his advice, practice, and pray. He suggests: tell yourself the story of Jesus. Make and learn in your own words a 5-minute talk, a 10-minute talk, a 20-minute talk, pray and be ready for any opportunities the Holy Spirit may slip into your conversations with a neighbor or friend, or stranger, anyone who comes along.
Mattson divides his book into four parts: Making Your Case, Responding to Tough Questions, Science and Faith, and How-To’s. He concludes with a word of encouragement, reminding us that he has tried to offer a balance between “maximum preparation and maximum reliance on God’s Spirit when it comes to conversations with seekers and skeptics.” He reminds us also of his friend and colleague Jim Sire’s good advice: “....begin with the stories of Jesus because the best reason to believe in Christianity is Jesus.”
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Here’s a sample: God and I are going for a walk, We’ll pick up leaves and step over puddles and probably jump in some....God and I are going for a talk....
Readers will learn the origin of many of the words in this dictionary, explaining the “why” and “how” of our use of them in our worship today. English notes that “on a deeper level, the words in this dictionary offer a history of the Anglican faith,” and for those who wonder, they will find helpful answers to their questions. Some of the words may seem ancient and cause us to wonder why we still use them, she says, but they “take us back to the time when Christ and his apostles walked the earth.” They “remind us of his message of hope” and they may serve as a key to young readers, helping them find a deeper understanding of their faith as they talk about it and practice it in the church and neighborhood where they are today.