Update 5/7/14: Last week we started the series and really got a lot to think about. I hope you all are studying and doing the review and homework that is in the study guide. In listening to Greg’s radio show podcast (Stand To Reason) the other day I heard him spend a long time answering a question from a listener who was asking about how and when to use the Tactics approach in every day life. I thought it would be a good segment for everyone to hear, especially as it pertains to the first two Columbo questions–the first of which we learned last week. So here is the audio from his radio show a few weeks ago. I pulled this segment (about 22 minutes) out of the three hour show. I only clipped out the callers before and after this one, as well as the commercial break in the middle of the call. I didn’t edit out any part of the call itself. I hope it’s helpful!
“Tired of finding yourself flat-footed and intimidated in conversations? Want to increase your confidence and skill in discussions with family, friends, and coworkers? In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to get in the driver’s seat, keeping any conversation moving with thoughtful, artful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to maneuver comfortably and graciously through the minefields, stop challengers in their tracks, turn the tables and—most importantly—get people thinking about Jesus. Soon, your conversations will look more like diplomacy than D-Day. Drawing on extensive experience defending Christianity in the public square, Koukl shows you how to: – Initiate conversations effortlessly – Present the truth clearly, cleverly, and persuasively – Graciously and effectively expose faulty thinking – Skillfully manage the details of dialogue – Maintain an engaging, disarming style even under attack Tactics provides the game plan for communicating the compelling truth about Christianity with confidence and grace.”
Greg’s book, Tactics:A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, is what we will be going through in the next season of our Men’s Group meetings (which are open to the community) when we finish Romans in a few weeks. He has a 6 session DVD curriculum that will serve as the teaching/review portion of our meeting. You don’t have to buy the book to go through this with us, but I believe it will be beneficial for you to do so.
I have read or listened to the book 2 or 3 times in the past year and it has helped me in my conversations with people both inside and outside the Church. My wife has only listened to the first few chapters with me and she said just that little bit of exposure to this material has helped her tremendously (she’s even used some of the tactics on me in our discussions)!
I think this is an extremely helpful topic for us to look at and grow in our understanding and abilities in the area of apologetics and persuasive conversation. While most apologetics books I’ve read deal mostly with facts and evidence in proving Christianity (which are indispensable), this book deals with how to actually use that information in conversations that, lets be honest, tend to make us a little uncomfortable sometimes. Greg will guide us in what he calls the “Ambassador Model” of communicating the Gospel or any other biblical truth. He will show us how to use questions to steer the conversation while the other person does most of the work (talking, arguing for their point, or backtracking) in the conversation. He also helps us spot flaws in the other person’s thinking and how to point those out by simply asking questions.
I have listed a few relevant resource links below that would be worth a look. I’m looking forward to covering this with you guys! If you can’t make it to our Men’s Group meeting, let me commend this resource to you for study and personal growth in effective, gracious Gospel communication, as we remain in, but not of this culture.
Website: STR.org Greg Koukl founded Stand To Reason about 20 years ago. From that ministry has come his weekly radio show, speaking ministry, and website that is packed full of biblical, cultural apologetics resources!
Podcast: Website | iTunes He does a weekly radio show that lasts 3 hours. He takes calls from all over the world with questions about the Bible, Christianity, religion, ethics, morality, etc. and answers them on the fly. This has been one of my favorite weekly podcasts!