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Tactics in Defending the Faith - Being an Effective Ambassador for Christ -

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Presentation on theme: "Tactics in Defending the Faith - Being an Effective Ambassador for Christ -"— Presentation transcript:

1 Tactics in Defending the Faith - Being an Effective Ambassador for Christ -

2 Based on the book by Greg Koukl Greg Koukl runs an organisation called Stand to Reason  loads of apologetic material  informative weekly podcast

3 So what's this talk about?  Having a Tactical Game Plan Manoeurvering comfortably and graciously in conversation with others

4 So what's this talk about?  Having a Tactical Game Plan Manoeurvering comfortably and graciously in conversation with others  Remaining in the Driver's Seat Maintaining an appropriate level of control in those conversations

5 So what's this talk about?  Having a Tactical Game Plan Manoeurvering comfortably and graciously in conversation with others  Remaining in the Driver's Seat Maintaining an appropriate level of control in those conversations  Communicating our Faith Confidently Showing a confident and winsome face of Christianity to others

6 Why should we be defending Christianity? Part of our obligation as followers of Christ is to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have and importantly, to do this with gentleness and respect. (from 1 Peter 3:15)

7 Why should we be defending Christianity? Part of our obligation as followers of Christ is to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have and importantly, to do this with gentleness and respect. (from 1 Peter 3:15) People's questions may tell us our hope is misplaced and they can be quite disbelieving of it and aggressive in telling us so.

8 Why should we be defending Christianity? Part of our obligation as followers of Christ is to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have and importantly, to do this with gentleness and respect. (from 1 Peter 3:15) People's questions may tell us our hope is misplaced and they can be quite disbelieving of it and aggressive in telling us so. This may be confronting but having a tactical game plan takes the pressure off you enormously and turns it into an enjoyable and worthwhile experience that will hopefully leave you keen to engage more often.

9 Why consider ourselves ambassadors for Christ? Paul's 2 nd letter to the church at Corinth reminds them of the representative burden faced by Christians, namely, that “we are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (from 2 Corinthians 5:20)

10 Why consider ourselves ambassadors for Christ? Paul's 2 nd letter to the church at Corinth reminds them of the representative burden faced by Christians, namely, that “we are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (from 2 Corinthians 5:20) Paul states it not as something we can choose to be, rather, he states it as something we already are.

11 Why consider ourselves ambassadors for Christ? Paul's 2 nd letter to the church at Corinth reminds them of the representative burden faced by Christians, namely, that “we are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (from 2 Corinthians 5:20) Paul states it not as something we can choose to be, rather, he states it as something we already are. Like it or not, everything we do and say represents God to other people, so...no pressure!

12 The 4 main aspects we will cover: 1. The value of the tactical approach to discussing Christianity 2. Defining what tactics are and how they differ from strategy 3. Exploring the dangers to others in using and abusing these tactics 4. An introduction to the main tactic, the Columbo Tactic

13 1. The Value of the Tactical Approach In sport, without tactics, executing a game plan and responding to the opponent's game plan is doomed to failure

14 1. The Value of the Tactical Approach In sport, without tactics, executing a game plan and responding to the opponent's game plan is doomed to failure In warfare, history is littered with decisive victories from clever tacticians who despite being out numbered or out gunned, turned a clear defeat into a victory

15 1. The Value of the Tactical Approach In sport, without tactics, executing a game plan and responding to the opponent's game plan is doomed to failure In warfare, history is littered with decisive victories from clever tacticians who despite being out numbered or out gunned, turned a clear defeat into a victory In our postmodern world where people are sceptical of all truth claims or view truth as being relative together with political correctness making it offensive for anyone to claim their view to be true means we need to have more than just the right answers

16 2. Tactics and How They Differ from Strategy Strategy involves the big picture, the large scale planning and positioning before the engagement

17 2. Tactics and How They Differ from Strategy Strategy involves the big picture, the large scale planning and positioning before the engagement Christianity is well positioned with respect to answering life's biggest questions (who am I? why am I here? where am I going?). We have good answers and we can defend them

18 2. Tactics and How They Differ from Strategy Strategy involves the big picture, the large scale planning and positioning before the engagement Christianity is well positioned with respect to answering life's biggest questions (who am I? why am I here? where am I going?). We have good answers and we can defend them Our strategy is the content, information and reasons for believing which is the subject matter of apologetics

19 2. Tactics and How They Differ from Strategy Strategy involves the big picture, the large scale planning and positioning before the engagement Christianity is well positioned with respect to answering life's biggest questions (who am I? why am I here? where am I going?). We have good answers and we can defend them Our strategy is the content, information and reasons for believing which is the subject matter of apologetics Tactics then is the art of arranging our resources and deploying them in an effective way

20 3. Use and Abuse of Tactics Tactics ARE NOT: tricks clever ploys aimed at destroying others used to force others to submit to your point of view attempts to belittle or humiliate others used to gain notches on your spiritual belt

21 3. Use and Abuse of Tactics Tactics ARE: methods to help present the truth clearly and cleverly used to help you manoeuvre to get a footing in a conversation aids to help navigate your way through the difficulties of challenging claims used to stop someone in their tracks and turn the tables around

22 3. Use and Abuse of Tactics Tactics ARE: methods to help present the truth clearly and cleverly used to help you manoeuvre to get a footing in a conversation aids to help navigate your way through the difficulties of challenging claims used to stop someone in their tracks and turn the tables around The goal is to: to manage NOT manipulate to control NOT coerce to finesse NOT fight

23 3. Use and Abuse of Tactics We are not out to wound, embarrass or play one upmanship with friend, colleagues or opponents

24 3. Use and Abuse of Tactics We are not out to wound, embarrass or play one upmanship with friend, colleagues or opponents People can easily be made to look silly and feel stupid and walk away feeling hurt

25 3. Use and Abuse of Tactics We are not out to wound, embarrass or play one upmanship with friend, colleagues or opponents People can easily be made to look silly and feel stupid and walk away feeling hurt Try to walk alongside them and help them find the truth NOT walking away happy we “won” that encounter and stood up for Jesus

26 4. The Columbo Tactic

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30 ...just one more ting... - and then he “one more tings” them to death Question after question shows he is a shrewd character Has to apologise he asks so many questions Something worth getting into the habit of doing

31 4. The Columbo Tactic Key is to go on the offensive in an inoffensive way, using carefully selected questions to productively advance the conversation. Why questions? Asking questions instead of making statements offers tremendous advantages:

32 4. The Columbo Tactic Key is to go on the offensive in an inoffensive way, using carefully selected questions to productively advance the conversation. Why questions? Asking questions instead of making statements offers tremendous advantages:  Questions are interactive

33 4. The Columbo Tactic Key is to go on the offensive in an inoffensive way, using carefully selected questions to productively advance the conversation. Why questions? Asking questions instead of making statements offers tremendous advantages:  Questions are interactive  Questions allow you to make headway in a conversation without having to state your case

34 4. The Columbo Tactic Key is to go on the offensive in an inoffensive way, using carefully selected questions to productively advance the conversation. Why questions? Asking questions instead of making statements offers tremendous advantages:  Questions are interactive  Questions allow you to make headway in a conversation without having to state your case  Questions shift the burden of proof to the other person

35 4. The Columbo Tactic There are 3 basic ways to use the Columbo Tactic: 1. To gain information 2. To reverse the burden of proof 3. To indirectly exploit a weakness or flaw

36 4. The Columbo Tactic 1. To Gain Information The model question is “What do you mean by that?”

37 4. The Columbo Tactic 1. To Gain Information The model question is “What do you mean by that?”  it forces someone to be precise in their meaning

38 4. The Columbo Tactic 1. To Gain Information The model question is “What do you mean by that?”  it forces someone to be precise in their meaning  maybe the first time they've had to articulate what they mean

39 4. The Columbo Tactic 1. To Gain Information The model question is “What do you mean by that?”  it forces someone to be precise in their meaning  maybe the first time they've had to articulate what they mean  helps you to understand what they actually mean

40 4. The Columbo Tactic 1. To Gain Information The model question is “What do you mean by that?”  it forces someone to be precise in their meaning  maybe the first time they've had to articulate what they mean  helps you to understand what they actually mean  avoids you misrepresenting their view (straw man fallacy)

41 4. The Columbo Tactic 1. To Gain Information The model question is “What do you mean by that?”  it forces someone to be precise in their meaning  maybe the first time they've had to articulate what they mean  helps you to understand what they actually mean  avoids you misrepresenting their view (straw man fallacy)  avoids you giving a brilliant refutation to a view they don't hold

42 4. The Columbo Tactic “What do you mean by that?” examples  There is no God!

43 4. The Columbo Tactic “What do you mean by that?” examples  There is no God! … “what do you mean by God?” They may have a view of God that you would also agree doesn't exist

44 4. The Columbo Tactic “What do you mean by that?” examples  All religions are basically the same!

45 4. The Columbo Tactic “What do you mean by that?” examples  All religions are basically the same! … “in what way are they basically the same?”

46 4. The Columbo Tactic “What do you mean by that?” examples  All religions are basically the same! … “in what way are they basically the same?” It is the differences that matter eg Two near identical looking white tablets, one has aspirin written on it, the other has arsenic. Does this difference matter?

47 4. The Columbo Tactic “What do you mean by that?” examples  The Bible has been translated and retranslated so many times over the years it's completely unreliable!

48 4. The Columbo Tactic “What do you mean by that?” examples  The Bible has been translated and retranslated so many times over the years it's completely unreliable! … “how do you think translations are performed?” You are trying to find out if they understand how ancient texts were transmitted and copied and the process of textual criticism and styles of translations (eg literal, modern English, etc...)

49 4. The Columbo Tactic So this first question achieves 5 things:

50 4. The Columbo Tactic So this first question achieves 5 things: 1. It immediately engages the other person in an interactive way

51 4. The Columbo Tactic So this first question achieves 5 things: 1. It immediately engages the other person in an interactive way 2. It flatters them somewhat as you are showing genuine interest in understanding their point of view

52 4. The Columbo Tactic So this first question achieves 5 things: 1. It immediately engages the other person in an interactive way 2. It flatters them somewhat as you are showing genuine interest in understanding their point of view 3. It forces them to think more carefully and thoughtfully about what they actually do mean

53 4. The Columbo Tactic So this first question achieves 5 things: 1. It immediately engages the other person in an interactive way 2. It flatters them somewhat as you are showing genuine interest in understanding their point of view 3. It forces them to think more carefully and thoughtfully about what they actually do mean 4. It gives you valuable information about their position

54 4. The Columbo Tactic So this first question achieves 5 things: 1. It immediately engages the other person in an interactive way 2. It flatters them somewhat as you are showing genuine interest in understanding their point of view 3. It forces them to think more carefully and thoughtfully about what they actually do mean 4. It gives you valuable information about their position 5. It puts them into a defensive position without feeling that way and gives you control of the conversation

55 4. The Columbo Tactic So this first question achieves 5 things: 1. It immediately engages the other person in an interactive way 2. It flatters them somewhat as you are showing genuine interest in understanding their point of view 3. It forces them to think more carefully and thoughtfully about what they actually do mean 4. It gives you valuable information about their position 5. It puts them into a defensive position without feeling that way and gives you control of the conversation *** You can ask questions all day long and there is absolutely NO pressure on you ***

56 4. The Columbo Tactic 2. To Reverse the Burden of Proof The model question is “How did you come to that conclusion?”

57 4. The Columbo Tactic 2. To Reverse the Burden of Proof The model question is “How did you come to that conclusion?” So the first application of the tactic helped you find out what a person thinks. With the second application, you are going to find out why they think the way they do You have their point of view, now you want their reasons and justifications for holding it

58 4. The Columbo Tactic The Burden of Proof  is the responsibility somebody has to defend or give reasons for their view  the person making the claim bears the burden

59 4. The Columbo Tactic The Burden of Proof  is the responsibility somebody has to defend or give reasons for their view  the person making the claim bears the burden *** if you are asking questions, you are not making any claims, so you bear no burden of proof

60 4. The Columbo Tactic A Common Mistake... When another person raises an objection, makes a claim or offers a view contrary to ours, they often simply fold their arms and wait for you to refute them

61 4. The Columbo Tactic A Common Mistake... When another person raises an objection, makes a claim or offers a view contrary to ours, they often simply fold their arms and wait for you to refute them STOP DOING IT! DON'T ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN!! Stop trying to refute their point of view without them properly shouldering the burden of proof to back it up in the first place

62 4. The Columbo Tactic The burden of proof forces people to be more explicit about their views & the reasons for their objections It makes them do the work of defending their own views NO MORE FREE RIDES!

63 4. The Columbo Tactic Back to our question: “How did you come to that conclusion?” or some variation of it

64 4. The Columbo Tactic Back to our question: “How did you come to that conclusion?” or some variation of it  Is actually a gracious question as it assumes the person has actually arrived at one and has good reasons for it

65 4. The Columbo Tactic Back to our question: “How did you come to that conclusion?” or some variation of it  Is actually a gracious question as it assumes the person has actually arrived at one and has good reasons for it  Often, the person may be just asserting or emoting on the subject

66 4. The Columbo Tactic Back to our question: “How did you come to that conclusion?” or some variation of it  Is actually a gracious question as it assumes the person has actually arrived at one and has good reasons for it  Often, the person may be just asserting or emoting on the subject  The Simon & Garfunkel response...the sound of silence

67 4. The Columbo Tactic Back to our question: “How did you come to that conclusion?” or some variation of it  Is actually a gracious question as it assumes the person has actually arrived at one and has good reasons for it  Often, the person may be just asserting or emoting on the subject  The Simon & Garfunkel response...the sound of silence  Many have simply not thought through their view, much less been challenged on it. Their friends all say the same thing so...

68 4. The Columbo Tactic Back to our question: “How did you come to that conclusion?” or some variation of it  Is actually a gracious question as it assumes the person has actually arrived at one and has good reasons for it  Often, the person will be just asserting or emoting on the subject  The Simon & Garfunkel response...the sound of silence  Many have simply not thought through their view, much less been challenged on it. Their friends all say the same thing so... *** Christians are NOT immune from this either ***

69 4. The Columbo Tactic Alternate Explanation  Is not a refutation of your view

70 4. The Columbo Tactic Alternate Explanation  Is not a refutation of your view  It may be a wonderful story but it too needs to have good reasons for us to believe that it is a better explanation

71 4. The Columbo Tactic Alternate Explanation  Is not a refutation of your view  It may be a wonderful story but it too needs to have good reasons for us to believe that it is a better explanation  They still have to shoulder the burden of proof

72 4. The Columbo Tactic The Hot Seat  You are in conversation with someone who has either a lot more knowledge than you or is presenting concepts as refutations which you have not heard before

73 4. The Columbo Tactic The Hot Seat  You are in conversation with someone who has either a lot more knowledge than you or is presenting concepts as refutations which you have not heard before  You don't need to respond to every point made  If you are feeling overwhelmed, don't respond - switch modes

74 4. The Columbo Tactic The Hot Seat  Switch from argument mode to fact finding mode

75 4. The Columbo Tactic The Hot Seat  Switch from argument mode to fact finding mode  Allows you to still control the conversation  Acknowledge this is something new or difficult and ask them to explain their view and the reasons they have for it so you can go away and reflect on it

76 4. The Columbo Tactic The Hot Seat  Switch from argument mode to fact finding mode  Allows you to still control the conversation  Acknowledge this is something new or difficult and ask them to explain their view and the reasons they have for it so you can go away and reflect on it *** You are still using the first two Columbo questions but you can buy yourself some time whilst you listen and note what they are saying

77 Most Important Of All In baseball parlance:  You don't need to hit a home run in every conversation  You don't even need to get a base hit  You just need to get up to bat

78 Most Important Of All In baseball parlance:  You don't need to hit a home run in every conversation  You don't even need to get a base hit  You just need to get up to bat Most people will need time to consider what it is you've been discussing so they are not likely to get “converted” on the spot

79 Most Important Of All In baseball parlance:  You don't need to hit a home run in every conversation  You don't even need to get a base hit  You just need to get up to bat Most people will need time to consider what it is you've been discussing so they are not likely to get “converted” on the spot You may be just one person in a long line of people, each time moving them closer towards considering the possibility of Christianity

80 Most Important Of All Put a stone in their shoe Give them something to think about and help remove one or more barriers to faith


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