Truly Seeking to Understand Those Around Us

For awhile now, I've been reading different books that describe the best ways to reach out to those around us who may not share our beliefs.  Though most of them talk about what we believe as Christians, and how we should communicate these beliefs to others, there are a couple of books that I've come across which are more focused on understanding those to whom we are reaching out.

As I am learning over time, it's much more difficult to reach out to someone until you understand where they're coming from and what their worldview is.  With this in mind, I'd like to recommend the following books, both by James Sire:

  1. The Universe Next Door - this book looks at the various worldviews of the people we're likely to encounter when we begin sharing our faith, seeking to help us understand these viewpoints so we're better prepared when we reach out.
  2. Why Good Arguments Often Fail- this book focuses on the various ways in which we can engage others, including mistakes we can avoid.  This book emphasizes the need to understand those to whom we're speaking, and offers ways to engage so that this goal is met.

In today's world, we are likely to encounter people who believe things we may never have even heard of.  If we're to be able to reach any of them, or even to get the Christian Worldview a fair hearing, it's important that we understand the worldview of these people ahead of time.

As Christ said to his disciples in Matthew 10:16, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."  These books will help you to be both.

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