How do we prepare the Christian for today? I think we need to first start by knowing virtually all about today, and then preparing the Christian accordingly. They’re both important, as I’ve shown with these four points.
Reason for our belief
William Lane Craig could have no better way to title his book than, Reasonable Faith. Our faith is reasonable, and today’s Christian need to understand that providing reasons for their belief is so important in our time (perhaps, that’s true of all times). Sooner or later someone’s going to make that demand of you, and you have to be prepared. It’s good to know why you hold theism, particularly the Christian faith, as a better explanation of the world. Our worldview is not the only one present. There are other neatly presented ones which may even look, in its appearance, better than ours. For instance, atheism gives the physical world sovereignty over all things. That, matter, time and space is all there is. Sometimes I’m tempted to ask how they even know this about reality. Predominantly, matter is made up of atoms, so is what they said made up of atoms? One thing I’ve noticed about most atheists is that their view of the world, when looked at, excludes themselves. Sometimes, in order for them to even claim anything, they’d have to separate themselves from it, when, in fact, they should be part of it. When Bertrand Russell said, ‘Whatever knowledge is attainable must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know,’ he was excluding his own capacity to come to know such a thing about knowledge, which was in no way attained by scientific methods. This is why I’m tempted, if I can use that word, to ask them questions which literally drives them back into their own claims. This kind of sovereignty they appeal to can only be granted when there’s God, especially the One established by the Christian.
Knowledge of the scriptures
If you read carefully my first point, you’re likely to think that at least I know what my worldview stands for/against. What we need as Today’s Christian is knowledge of the word of God, which details of our worldview. We need to know what we stand for/against, even, I’d like to suggest, before knowing what others believe. It helps in many ways, especially in times like this. There are people whom I know are Christians but have no clue as to what the word of God says about stealing. I am not in this case suggesting that I know every scope of teaching in the Christian faith or I’m better off than anybody— No. If I knew anything at all, it is but a fair knowledge of many of the teachings as any sinner would. However, my point is that we’re surrounded by many philosophies which are contrary to our beliefs, and if care is not taken we can adopt those philosophies without even knowing how they oppose our belief. The music we listen to and all that stuff contain messages which are either for or against the Christian message. Frankly speaking, most of them are against it. Knowing the word of God, in many ways, helps you to quickly detect which message, for instance, from a song, movie, book, speech, and so on, is for or against our worldview. We must be conscious of these things. I measure everything I hear by the Word of God. That’s my standard and I assume it is yours as well.
Understanding the times in which we live
This helps in spreading the gospel. I’m the type of person who could preach the gospel to you without your knowing. I do this to keep you around the things you already assume to be true, while drawing you close to the Truth. A lady comes to you with a boy-issue and you start telling her dating is wrong. What?! In times like this, we put so much emphasis on relationships which have little to do with the person of Jesus Christ. It is what most of us assume to be true. So how do we even start drawing people to that Truth? The Apostle Paul, most of the time, would take the Jews back to his former life of persecution, while pointing them to the person of Jesus Christ. That’s what they know to be true of him. And he has used that to bring them to the Person of Jesus Christ. About this same Paul, Ravi Zacharias said he understood the times in which he lived. He understood the culture and the philosophies held at that time. I think that’s why his message has been so successful. We need to know our culture very well. The beliefs of our people; the things they pay attention to; the clothes they wear; the values they share and so on. Ravi Zacharias always reminded the American people where they got their values from, which he said were based in the Judeo-Christian worldview. It’s shocking to me that most of the lifestyle we copy are from there. I think his reminder is not only to them but also to us. The philosophies going around these days are just too many. We need to understand them as well and use them, if we can, to bring the gospel. Personally, I think in our time we are not thinking critically at all.
Attitude towards the believer and unbeliever alike
‘Attitude is everything.’ How we relate with people matters. It amazes me that Jesus ate with, whom the Pharisees called, sinners. He loved them irrespective of how the Pharisees saw them. Can we also love like this? Maybe because a church member doesn’t always come to church, your other members are beginning to see him differently. You shouldn’t be affected by it. Keep loving him. One thing we need to know is that our relationship with God determines how we relate with people. It is in how He deals with us that we learn how to deal with others. So as today’s Christians, we need to spend much time with God and know him for ourselves. He’s able to teach us a lot, especially when we come to him with the intention of knowing him. If you can forgive someone who hurt you by continuing your relationship with them, it’s probably because God forgave you one time when you did hurt him and is still relating with you. The flow would have to first begin with your relationship with Him before it can reach others. Paul wrote on this in his second letter to the Corinthians. He said that we can actually comfort those in trouble because God comforted us. That’s the flow he’s talking about. However, this doesn’t mean that our relationship with people would become perfect once we start relating with God nor does it mean that unbelievers cannot display any of these godlike attitudes I’ve talked about— No. In fact, unbelievers can, to an extent that even believers can’t. Comparing the two isn’t really the case as much as knowing that we’re all made in God’s image.