Tim Keller and Ed Stetzer discuss the topic of Evangelism. Click here for the podcast. (Just a little warning it is a little difficult to hear Ed Stetzer but still worth listening to.)
NASHVILLE, Tenn., 4/24/08 — A recently released LifeWay Research study reveals that more than 70 percent of unbelievers surveyed agree that “Jesus makes a difference,” but more than 70 percent also affirmed that “the church is full of hypocrites.” One prominent author understands why both questions would elicit such strong responses.
“They almost have to feel that way because the view from the outside is that if you aren’t living like Jesus Christ you won’t go to heaven,” said Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Reason for God: Belief in an age of skepticism. Keller’s comments came in a recent Inside LifeWay podcast with Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research. Both the unchurched study and the podcast can be found at LifeWayResearch.com.
“When they see Christians saying they are born again and they don’t see an incredibly changed life they assume you are a hypocrite,” Keller said. “They have to believe that, and the fact that they are critical of us we have to say partly that’s our fault, but on the other hand, it’s partly their inability to understand the gospel. We have to be patient with that.”
Keller said that even though there is growing prominence in arguments for atheism through such books as Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, the reality is that it is pretty easy to challenge the belief that there is no God or that all gods are the same.
“Of all the objections to Christianity, saying God is the same as all the others is the weakest and easiest to disprove,” he said. “There are two ways to go about it. The practical way is that all other religions have someone who says ‘I am a prophet come to show you the way to God.’ Only Christianity was founded by a man who said ‘I’m God come to find you.’ Now if Jesus said that…then either Christianity is either a superior or inferior way to God, but it can’t be equal [to all the others]. You ask any rabbi or imam or anybody who knows anything about their religion they’d say the same thing.
(HT: Ed Stetzer)