Love your neighbour with this book in your hand
“What is truth?” I doubt that Pilate was the first to retort with this, and he certainly wasn’t the last. He would fit right in on most online news and commenting forums today. Of course, I’m sure that Pilate had very many things that he believed with every fibre in his body that were true. I also think that keyboard warriors railing against Christianity are convinced they are qualified to decide that their convictions and no-one else’s are true.
So how do you share your faith in this kind of environment, our post-Christian, the-Bible-is-old-hat world? By living in a way that shows what you are saying about God is true, in the spirit of James 2. By being open and accountable when you don’t live that way. And by being secure—unashamed, no knee-jerk defensiveness—in God’s message to the world about the world.
One way of doing that with friends who aren’t believers but who like you anyway is to invite them into your truth. Let them try it on without pressure. Let them walk around in your shoes. Make sure they know they’re free to go at any time, but help them feel so welcome as they browse that they aren’t in a hurry.
The World Next Door uses this kind of tone really well. Using the Apostle’s Creed, this book explains your beliefs to your friend gently and with good humour, understanding that right now your friend is an interested bystander rather than an enemy or convicted believer. Topics that might strain the ‘science is truth’ reader, such as demons and the virgin birth of the Christ, are openly portrayed as difficult but intriguing and then examined in a very open-handed way. While the last three pages do point out that the reader has a choice to make, one of the explained choices is simply continuing to find out more about the truth of God. It really is a book that uses the present obsessions with narrative and exploration to their full advantage.
If you’ve been showing with your actions that Jesus is Lord, and you want to make sure that your friend is rejecting real Christianity and not just a made-up, truthless version they pieced together from newspaper articles, get this book. Read it before them to see how much they will get from it (you’ll learn quite a bit too!) or read it with them to allow for better discussion. It’s an excellent book that shows the true beauty of the most amazing of truths: we are made and loved by a God who sacrificed his Son to give us access to eternity and to make us fit to be there.