Gibbs, Ch. 7 “The Challenge of Religious Pluralism”

August 17, 2008

Gibbs is astute to recognize that “religions are intertwined with cultures and represent an integral part of the self-identity of a people” (227).  Consequently, evangelism these days is more than handing people a “Four Spiritual Laws” tract and praying the sinner’s prayer with them.  Religion is about who you are, not just what you believe or how you live.  Identity is foundational to conversations about God, and understanding (and using the resources of) culture and its impact on the formation of identity is therefore essential (NOT OPTIONAL) to meeting people where they are (on the postmodern “journey,” toward or away from God) and using that as a springboard to back into conversations about identity in Christ.  There’s no step-by-step formula for these conversations (cuz people are hyper-sensitive to categorical, agenda-driven approaches).  Rather, it’s about building relationships with people, knowing them, letting them know you, getting into their identities where they are, and allowing the presence of God in you to draw them into conversations about how to walk–and where, and toward whom–to get into that abundant life that flows out of the living water.

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