When it comes to questions of religion and morality, our culture operates at the level of sound bites and slogans. And we need to be prepared to engage at this level. Now, I'm not suggesting we keep the conversation at the level of sound bites and slogans forever, because after all, these are the biggest questions in life and they deserve-even demand-thoughtful answers.
But we've all been in situations where it would have been great to have something helpful to say regarding our Christian convictions when we are put on the spot. Again, I am the guy who loves reading books just for the footnotes. These answers are not everything that could be said or even should be said. But they are a good and reasonable starting place when you don't have much time.
I hope you find this series helpful to give you confidence that there are good answers to people's questions available and to help you keep important conversations going with friends, family, and co-workers. For as Paul reminds us, we are to be "wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" (Col. 4:5-6 cf. 1 Pet. 3:15).
"Religion is dangerous because it leads to so much violence and conflict"
I appreciate your concern, but I think the first thing we need to do is clarify which religion you have in mind because they all teach very different things. But beyond that, it doesn't appear to me that religion is the root problem; people are. I think the lesson of history is that almost anything (e.g., politics, science, economics, or religion) can be abused or misused simply because people are involved, and people tend to manipulate, control, or exploit to get what they want. People are the common denominator. This strongly suggests that there's something broken in the human heart. So for Christians at least, we'll want to come back to the example, vision, and teachings of Jesus and ask if we are living consistently with that (e.g., loving our neighbors as ourselves). The teachings of the Bible, properly understood, are our standard. Anywhere Christians are out of line with that, then they are deviating from biblical Christianity. But that's not a religion problem, that's a heart problem. Thankfully, Jesus offers the solution for that.
Think Christianly with Jonathan Morrow
Labels: Apologetics, Bible, Religion, Sound Bites and Slogans, Worldview