Read this if…

  • You are looking for creative, unique ways to share your faith with others.
  • Desire to share Gospel-centered conversation with acquaintances and friends.
  • Looking to grow in your own faith by digging deeper in specific areas of thought.

Publisher’s Summary

Think of it this way . . . Our beliefs are challenged from many directions. Every day it seems more difficult to explain to our friends, families, and neighbors what we believe and why. When our ideas and arguments fail to persuade them, what then? Is there another approach we can take? Veteran apologists and communicators J. P. Moreland and Tim Muehlhoff say that the best way to win over others is with a good story. Stories have the ability to get behind our preconceptions and defenses. They appeal to the whole person rather than just to the mind. This expanded edition includes new chapters and updated stories and illustrations throughout. In these pages the authors enhance the logic and evidence found in other books defending the faith with things that your friends, relatives, or coworkers will ponder long after a conversation is over. Here is sound, empathetic coaching for those of us who long to communicate our faith more effectively.

Review

Review by Heather Wortman – @36heatheroo

 

Picture this. You are with an unbelieving friend – each of you enjoying a cup of coffee. Your conversation is going well, but then the conversation moves towards spiritual matters. You’re a little concerned that you won’t be able to answer all of their questions, but so far you’re not doing bad and you have even been able to share how God has worked in your life. Your excitement rises as conversation continues…until….

 

….the next question is asked.

 

You know what kind of question I am talking about; the ones that seem impossible to answer no matter how much explaining you do. And then you realize that you haven’t explained it well, so you try to explain some more. 

 

Sometimes, in moments like these we can feel incapable of moving the conversation forward and helping people understand different aspects of God, the Bible, creation, and our purpose. The God Conversation is a great source for those who are looking for help with these difficult conversations. 
As noted above in the summary, authors J.P. Moreland and Tim Mueflhoff, say that “the best way to win over others is with a good story. Stories have the ability to get behind our preconceptions and defenses. They appeal to the whole person rather than just to the mind.” This book is a collection of stories that one might be able to use to engage people in meaningful spiritual conversations. 

 

Consider the following questions:
Where did evil come from?
Why does suffering exist?
Why do bad things happen to good people? 
If God is good, why doesn’t he stop more bad things from happening?
How can Christians believe that a loving God would send people to hell?
 
Of course, the first line of defense is to be well-aquainted with the Scripture. John Piper once said that Scripture memory is the solution to never being caught off guard in a conversation. 
 
But Moreland and Mueflhoff would suggest that we need to be more creative with the ways in which we share biblical truth. 
Are you looking for fresh way to present the gospel message?
Do you need creative ways to explain your answers to those hard questions that are thrown at you?
The God Conversation may be the right book for you.
Perhaps an example would be helpful. Below is a story from the book that relates to the question of human free will 
 
Mr. Wonderful Doll and Free Choice.

“One of the hottest gifts today for female shoppers is the Mr. Wonderful Doll. He’s twelve inches tall, handsome, and (most important to women) sensitive. This perfect man is programmed to always say the right thing. Simply push a button to hear him say one of sixteen phrases, including,

  • “You take the remote. As long as I’m with you, I don’t care what we watch.”
  • “The ball game is not that important. I’d rather spend time with you.”
  • “Why don’t we go to the mall? Didn’t you want some shoes?”
  • “You know, I think it’s really important to talk about our relationships.”
  • “You’ve been on my mind all day. That’s why I bought you these flowers.”

The best thing about Mr. Wonderful is that he never disappoints. He’s never irritable, sarcastic, or selfish. As long as you keep putting in three AA batteries, he’ll continue to affirm and compliment whoever is pushing his button. It’s certainly understandable why such a doll would be desirable.

God would have done the same – that is, he could have created a world of Wonderful Human Dolls. Each time God pressed our button, we’d be programmed to say.

  • “God, you have been on my mind all day.”
  • “As long as I’m with you, God, I don’t care what we do.”
  • “God, you are holy, perfect, and worthy of my love.”
  • “God, I would never disobey you.”

In a world of human dolls, there would be no evil. Why? Because lying, cheating, rape, murder, abuse, racism, and sexism would not be part of our programming. All we would do, like the Mr. Wonderful Doll, is fawn over God continually. It would be a perfect world, free of evil. But would a relationship with a doll satisfy?”

A good illustration presents your idea clearly, helps others understand the point you are making, “allows repetition without weariness, and sustains the interest of the listener.”
J. P. Moreland and Tim Muehlhoff have written a must-read for Christ followers passionate about engaging in meaningful conversation on difficult topics.  This little book is readable, refreshing, and fun. I highly recommend it. 
 

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