Three Steps to the Cross
by Michael C. Sherrard
Most people are not scholars. Most people are not academics and researchers who have dedicated their life to a single idea. Most people’s objections to God are not intellectual; they are either emotional or volitional. It is not so much their mind that rejects God, but their heart.
When it comes to God, man naturally concludes that God exists (Romans 1:18-23). However, many suppress this truth. They cover it up with their emotions, pain, and intellect. The truth is rejected by their heart before it is covered up by their mind. Therefore, your role is to help them uncover a truth that was once there. Academia may help some to recover this truth, and there is certainly a time and place for it. The place, though, is not likely to be in your living room or office. This level of academia is probably not what your neighbor needs. He just needs a simple good reason to reconsider a truth about God he once believed. Here is how I do it.
My Three Steps
First, I begin by trying to establish a reasonable case for God’s existence. Do not be burdened with proving God exists. All you must do is open the door for the possibility of His existence. Most people already have this door open and you can then move onto the next step.
However, if you find someone who is completely closed off to even the possibility of God’s existence, take him to the beginning. Ask him how he thinks life came to be. Ask him why there is something rather than nothing. As he doesn’t believe in God, he will likely give you some naturalistic answer involving evolution and billions of years.
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At this point, don’t argue about evolution. Instead, ask him what there was in the beginning. Ask him if the universe has always existed, or if it came to exist out of nothing. Ask him for his evidence. He may throw out some scientific theories such as an eternal universe or dark matter. Likely you will find that he is not an expert in this field, but is forced to believe this way because of his prior assumption that God does not exist.
Understand that you are not asking these questions to be smug. You are simply trying to expose the level of certainty in their position. What you need is a crack in their defense. Helping them to see that they don’t really have good reasons for their beliefs will make them more open to yours. What will happen next is that they likely will then ask you for your evidence. This is good.
Chances are you won’t be prepared on the spot to present them with the cosmological, teleological, and natural law arguments for God’s existence, but you can say, “I would be glad to study it together.” Beyond obvious reasons, I ask you to study the evidence for God’s existence with them because the evidence we have supports a belief in God. If your skeptic friend accepts your invitation, and if he is an honest, truth- seeking person, he will likely become open to the possibility of God’s existence, which is all you need for the next step…