Effective witnessing with creation evangelism
Published: 11 November 2017 (GMT+10)
The ultimate purpose of CMI is to equip believers with information that will help them be more effective in sharing their faith in their own contexts. But often people feel overwhelmed and unqualified for the conversations that come up. But we shouldn’t let that stop us from sharing the truth.
Gina V, U.S., writes:
I have been getting Creation’s articles emailed to me every day for a long time now, but I still feel unprepared to present an argument to my agnostic, evolution-believing friends. I can’t memorize each article. Could you post an article listing the basic arguments and counterarguments I could respectfully use when questioned about creation vs. evolution? Maybe you could make a tract out of it. For now, all I know to do is tell them about this site, but I have a feeling they don’t visit it, and because I, a humble layperson, couldn’t answer all their arguments, that they must be right.
Lita Cosner, CMI-US, responds:
First of all, it’s great that you’re interacting with your agnostic evolutionist friends and sharing the truth with them. Don’t be discouraged—God can use anyone, and the fruit may take some time to appear. But there are a few strategic things you can do that may be helpful.
You’re correct that it’s impossible to memorize everything—there are simply too many possible areas of debate. It’s absolutely okay to say, “That’s a great question. I remember reading something on creation.com about it by a Ph.D. scientist, but I can’t recall well enough to describe it accurately. Can I email you the article?”
Another thing you can do is limit the conversation. If your conversations cover a wide range of disciplines, say, from biology to history to geology, then it’s no wonder you’d feel overwhelmed! First, you can limit the discussion somehow. For instance, when someone brings up dinosaur fossils, and you counter with evidence that there is soft tissue and even DNA in dinosaur bones, don’t let them jump over to radiometric dating. You can respectfully insist that they deal with the evidence you’ve given them in a manner explained by Anyone for Tennis? This can make your conversations more manageable and productive.
If you have trouble remembering some information, you can invite them to watch Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels with you or go through 15 Questions for Evolutionists. Perhaps they would read Christianity for Skeptics—all of these resources show that Christians actually think about our faith and have evidence for our worldview, and they might spark conversations.
But in your conversations, try to ‘keep the main thing the main thing’. We’ve shown consistently that evolution and billions of years is a common stumbling block to the Gospel so it’s important to be equipped with answers in this area. However, if your friend is an unbeliever, you should be trying to win him or her to Christianity, not just biblical creation. One way you can move the conversation is, after dealing with evolutionary objection, saying something like, “But you know, neither one of us was around when these dinosaurs were fossilized, so we’re really talking about two different interpretations of the same evidence. In contrast, Jesus lived at a specific time in history that is recorded for us both in Scripture and outside of Scripture, and His claims about Himself are well-documented. And the empty tomb is one of the best attested historical events. How do you explain that?” Deal with the objections to creation by giving evidence, but then move the conversation to Christ and the Gospel. I’ve used this strategy effectively myself.
Finally, let your friends know that you care for them as your friends and that is the reason you’re having these conversations, not just to score another conversion. So don’t try to make every time you grab coffee into a debate, but do take advantage of opportunities as God opens the door for conversation.
Ultimately, God is the only one who can change hearts and minds. But we are called to be faithful witnesses to the truth recorded in Scripture. It sounds like you’re already doing a great job! But I hope these few thoughts are helpful.