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August 04, 2015


Excellent article. As an apologetics and ethics instructor at a Bible college I find that teaching students that type of strategy is immediately confidence-building. With your permission I plan to use this article in class this semester!

Patricia, you're welcome to use anything we post online in your classes.

"Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words." --St. Francis

RagTime, I'm not sure what you're meaning to say by posting that quote here, but just to clarify, St. Francis didn't say that. And from what I understand, St. Francis did a heck of a lot of preaching with words!

On the footnote, let me add a #3: if Christianity actually were wrong, wouldn't you want to know it? :D

That's a somewhat cheeky comment. However, confidence in the truth of your view should make you more willing to look at evidence, to honestly evaluate the idea that you are mistaken. Refusing to evaluate evidence actually suggests that you think your idea is weak.

There are more reasons people take offense than just being told they're wrong. I agree with Brett that people shouldn't take offense at being contradicted, but what if someone tries to force you to conform to their beliefs, instead of persuading you?

Christian bakers take offense when the government forces them to cater gay weddings. For their part, gay people took offense when the government used to say they couldn't get married. This is a tougher matter.

Amy, I was trying to point out that much of Christian "witnessing" happens when people try to be persuasive verbally, when it's the example of our lives that has more of an impact. And you're right that quote is mis-attributed to Francis. It's a restating of his quote:

"...As for me, I desire this privilege from the Lord, that never may I have any privilege from man, except to do reverence to all, and to convert the world by obedience to the Holy Rule rather by example than by word."

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