Conversations With Two Unbelievers: A Brief Summary
Peter writes about giving a defense of our faith in 1 Peter 3:15. “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” For this project I had an opportunity to discuss what I believe and why I believe it with two different unbelievers. The goal was to stand on the truth of God’s word while honoring Christ as holy as Peter writes. However, my main goal was not only to defend what I believe and expose the unbeliever’s world view as untenable, but also to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The two unbeliever I spoke with had different world view from that of myself as well as from each other. One is a very skeptical person who claims to reject the Bible because it was written by men. He also claims to believe “science.” The other is more of an agnostic who claims things are too big for us to know, yet he believes there is someone who made the world and has a sense of spirituality.
My first discussion was with Justin. I do not know him very well and we only had a few discussions previously on Facebook. My family knows his wife from a church we used to attend together. In the conversation you will hear Justin make claims about science being true and how the bible is not because he believes it is just a book of the thoughts of man. Justin also explains that he hopes there is something after we die but he claims we do not know. One other important thing to know about Justin is that he is a vegan. He is enthusiastic about how mankind treats and mistreat animals. He is sort of a vegan apologist as he was trying to persuade me in the way of veganism.
As you listen to this conversation you will notice, at least in his presentation, that Justin really has not fully thought out what he believes. I tried my best to stay on target with him but there were a few times we went down rabbit holes. What I wanted to show him was the inconstancies in his world while pointing out to him that he knows God because he is made in His image. For example, Justin believes people should be good. I asked him by what standard should we be good? Not much was given from him in the way of an answer.
The second conversation was with Shail. I met Shail back in 2004 when I was his high school music teacher. We reconnected later in life bonding over New York Mets baseball.
Shail was raised in what seems to be a nominal Hindu family. He does not really follow Hindu teaching but does celebrate some Hindu holidays. When he told me this it reminded me of those who claim to be Christian but only attend church on Christmas and Easter.
As you listen to this conversation you will hear a very different world view from that of Justin. Shail believes there has to be something outside of mankind that created the world. He has a belief about the after life concerning the “energy” of people returning into the universe. Overall, Shail says some good things, but his foundation is shaky. He is not standing on the Rock of Christ.
In both conversations there were things I wanted to address but I had limited time. In the short time I desired to listen more and expose their inconsistencies when I could while getting to the Gospel as much as possible. I know there were points that I missed and times I may have gone off on tangents away from the covenantal approach, but I wanted to keep the conversation flowing. Most importantly, I wanted to point both these men to Christ, the true reason I believe what I believe.
A point that came up in both conversations was morality. If both men believe there are things humans should and should not do to other human beings it exposes that they are made in the image of God. Being made in God’s image they are in covenant with Him. As Dr Oliphint puts it in his book Covenantal Apologetics, “Given that all men are in covenant relationship with God, they are bound by that relationship to ‘owe obedience owe obedience to Him as their Creator.’” And later writes, “We are people who, by nature, have an obligation to worship and serve the creator.”  Both of these men exhibited knowledge of being in God’s image by both stating we should be “good” people. The problem is, as Paul writes in Romans 1, they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. In order for them to be consistent in their views of anything they need to trust in Christ as it says in Colossians 2:3 “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Overall, I tried to stay consistent with the Reformed apologetic method by standing on the truth of God’s word. I know there was more that could have been said, but I presented my case from the Scripture for the hope that is in me. As Van Til points out in his book, Christian Apologetics, the Reformed apologist “must present facts for what they really are and then challenge the natural man by arguing that unless they are accepted for what they are according to the Christian interpretation of them, no facts mean anything at all.”
I plan to keep dialoging with these men. I ask that you also keep Justin and Shail in your prayers. I pray the Holy Spirit speaks through me so these men see their inconsistent world view is because of their sin and that their eyes will be opened to forgiveness and life in Jesus Christ.
Oliphint, K. Scott. Covenantal Apologetics Principles & Practice in Defense of Our Faith. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2013
Van Till, Cornelius, Christian Apologetics. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2003.
 K. Scott Oliphint, Covenantal Apologetics Principles & Practice in Defense of Our Faith (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2013), 41.
 Cornelius Van Til, Christian Apologetics (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2003), 193.