Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Share Your Faith...

Faith Is Like Skydiving is the title of Rick Mattson’s recent book from IVP, www.ivpress.com.  I think he means that if you want to share your faith in God, or anything, including skydiving, you better check out all the evidence before you get to the point of believing. Mattson started out 30 years ago as an IVCF staff worker at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is now an “apologetics specialist” for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and a frequent speaker on college campuses across the country. He can be reached at www.rickmattsonoutreach.com.

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.”

—Lois Sibley